The membership of CUPE 3903, the union representing York’s teaching assistants, contract faculty, and graduate and research assistants, has initiated a strike against the University. The Executive Committee of the University Senate has declared that a disruption of academic activities has occurred as a result.
What does this mean for English courses?
The most important immediate consequence of the Senate action is that academic activities at York — course meetings, tutorials, office hours — have been temporarily suspended. It’s natural to feel anxious and curious about these circumstances. The University’s main website will include regular updates. Because contract-faculty course directors and all teaching assistants are on strike now, you should not expect to hear personally from them while the labour disruption continues. What to do? Look to see if the University’s main Q&A page for students has the information you’re after. You’re welcome to contact the English Department directly, too: email@example.com. The English Department offices will remain open during the job action, and you are welcome to make use of our services there in person if you’re on campus or by telephone. I’m sure you’ll understand the challenges that Department staff will face to keep our offices operating, and I thank you in advance for your patience.
What will happen to my courses when the strike ends? The manner in which your English courses may eventually need to be modified will depend on the length of the strike. The University Senate will let us all know if adjustments to courses are appropriate. Until then, please rest assured that your course directors will be exercising all reasonable flexibility about deadlines for course work (while maintaining academic standards) once courses are able to resume. For now, I encourage you to continue to do your reading, to work on your assignments as you’re able to on your own, and to keep updated on the latest news from campus.
We all look forward to a swift and respectful resolution to the labour conflict!
Chair, Department of English