From: news and announcements for members of CUPE local 3903

[3903NEWS@YorkU.CA] on behalf of michelle lowry [mlowry@YorkU.CA]

Sent: December 5, 2000 8:37 AM


Subject: Solidarity Letters


Letters of solidarity from  Caroline Fusco at U of T; Albert Masters at U

of T;Tina Basi - MA Gender Studies,Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

School of Sociology and Social Policy.University of Leeds; Joel Duff,

President Graduate Students' Association, University of Ottawa




Here's a letter of support from a colleague at UofT, who registers her

concern that York-sponsored events (such as the LaMarsh Centre-sponsored

Michael Smith Seminars on Violence & Sport) are continuing off-campus...



From:   caroline fusco[]

Sent:   December 1, 2000 7:48 AM



Subject:        Re: Michael Smith Seminars on Violence and Sport--Dec 7


To whom it may concern,


I am registering my disappointment that this series is going ahead as

planned-albeit in a different venue-while the strike by contract faculty,

graduate assistants and teaching assistants at York University continues.

Relocating events off York campus until the strike is settled only

benefits York University's administration. In order to pressure York

University's Administration into fair contract negotiations the only

available option for the striking staff is to engage in a policy of

disrupting these "normal events" at York University. The appearance of

"business as normal" works against the striking contract faculty, graduate

assistants and teaching assistants at York University.


Caroline Fusco.


>From: Exercise Sciences <>

>To: unlisted-recipients:; (no To-header on input)

>Subject: Michael Smith Seminars on Violence and Sport--Dec 7

>Date: Thu, Nov 30, 2000, 5:19 PM




Relocated off York Campus until settlement of strike)


With Jay Johnson, OISE/UT

Thursday, December 7, 2000

University of Toronto

Benson Building (Corner of Harbord and Spadina)

Boardroom 302 (third floor)

3-5 p.m.

Jay Johnson, B.A., B.Ed., M.Sc., Ph.D, (in process, University of Toronto)

will present some of the traditional practices of initiation and hazing in

sport. Many >> aspects of the rituals can involve degradation,

humiliation, and both physical and  sexual assault. Jay will illustrate

some of the cutting-edge programs, which are being inaugurated by athletic

departments in an attempt to curtail abusive types of initiations.



Dear President Marsden:


I am writing  to you as in support of the striking  CUPE workers at York

University. I believe that their proposals are reasonable and fair.

I believe that as a minimum these workers are entitled to job security for

contract faculty, protection from tuition increases for teaching

assistants and graduate assistants (who perform research for faculty), a

fair first contract for graduate assistants, smaller class sizes, and an

equitable wage

increase. I hope that you will reach a fair settlement soon.

Albert Masters




Dear Lorna,

I sincerely hope that this message does not fill your mailbox and that you

do have the time to read and reply to it.


I am writing in regards to the ongoing strike at your university. I am

appalled at the length of time it is taking to reach an agreement and I am

amazed at your lack of sympathy for your students and staff. Surely you

could not have forgotten what it was like to live below the poverty line


to work two jobs in the summer and one part time throughout the semester??

Perhaps you do not share those experiences but I can assure you that a


majority do.


Does the fact that there has been a 145% increase in tuition over the last

decade mean nothing to you??? How can you not feel a desire to protect the

future of our country from those kinds of tuition increases?? Or to


them from the growing trend towards privatization??? Or is this simply

another case of Baby Boomers getting something for free and taking it away

once they've reaped the rewards??? I am ashamed that my generation must


to you as role models. I find it incredible that an institution such as


is abandoning critical thought to chase the almighty dollar.


The reduction in class sizes, the lack of tenured professors and the

introduction of summer fees are just a few of the issues to which your


and students have not received a response. Instead you offer a wage


BELOW the rate of inflation!! I shudder to think what these kinds of


would to the level of academic achievement in England.


Yes Lorna, I too am a graduate student. I am at the University of Leeds

studying with women such as Griselda Pollock, Ruth Pearson, and Sylvia

Walby. I would be disgusted with my administration if I was unable to


lectures and continue my research because of such disregard and lack of

professionalism on your part.


Beware Lorna, this struggle affects the international academic community


a large way. I suggest you listen to your staff and students as York's

reputation is on the demise and YOU are responsible for that.


I sincerely look forward to your reply.


Yours truly,

Tina Basi

MA Gender Studies

Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

School of Sociology and Social Policy

University of Leeds





November 8, 2000


Ms. Lorna Marsden

Office of the President

York University

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, ON M3J 1P3


RE: Full support for CUPE 3903


Dear President Marsden,


On behalf of the 3,000 graduate students at the University of Ottawa, I

wish to express our unconditional support for the fair and reasonable

demands of your striking teaching assistants, contract faculty and

graduate assistants.


The workers of CUPE 3903 are a vital part of the academic atmosphere of

York University. As such, they deserve the dignity and respect of a fair

collective agreement, immediately. Forcing your workers into a strike

position is detrimental to the learning experience of all of the students

at York and serves to break down collarboration between the York

administration, it's workers and it's students.


The CUPE 3903 workers are not being ambitious  in their demands. Rather,

their concerns represent the bare minimum of what educational workers

should be able to expect. Every year, as tuition fees rise faster than

student wages, our ability to succeed becomes increasingly remote. This

represents a great threat to the quality and reputation of a York

University degree. It is incumbent upon the York administration to provide

a living wage for all your workers - fixing wages increases to tuition

increases would demonstrate a commitment to this principle.


In addition, the CUPE 3903 demands demonstrate their commitment to

teaching excellence and to improving the quality of the learning

experience for undergraduate students at York. Reducing class sizes is a

vital step in promoting a learning environment in which students are able

to get the teaching support and attention that they need and deserve.


The resistance of the York administration to meeting your workers' demands

for fairness and respect has forced the CUPE 3903 workers into a strike

situation. As many graduate students of the University of Ottawa are also

CUPE workers, we are watching York's shameful disdain for its employees

with grave concern. University of Ottawa grads urge you to meet your

worker's demands and reach a fair settlement now.


In solidarity with CUPE 3903,


Joel Duff,


Graduate Students' Association, University of Ottawa