CUPE 3903 will hold a special picket line today (Thursday, December 18) at noon in front of York University Chancellor Roy McMurtry’s office at First Canadian Place, 100 King St. W., and in front of the offices of other members of York’s Board of Governors.
Striking teaching and graduate assistants and contract faculty are spending this week in a wide variety of demonstrations in order to raise awareness around the issues at the core of their demands and encourage the university administration to return to the bargaining table.
“York’s bargaining team doesn’t seem to take the negotiation process seriously,” said graduate student Jen Hassum. “We need a resolution, so if President Mamdouh Shoukri won’t take charge and direct his bargaining team to get serious, we’ll just have to go over his head.”
CUPE 3903 members are six weeks into a strike in which they are asking for job security for contract faculty, many of whom have been teaching at York for over 15 years, and better funding for graduate students. Increased financial support for graduate students is also a key issue.
“Ontario graduate students are among the lowest funded in the country and York is no exception,” said Tyler Shipley, a 3rd year PhD student. “In fact, if things don’t change, I may have to quit and move home to Winnipeg. I’m accumulating debt that I will never be able to pay back.”