257 YUFA members sign letter to Senate Executive and University Administration Reply

257 YUFA members and 6 retirees have signed an open letter to Senate Executive expressing extreme concern about the resumption of classes while the strike continues. The letter urges the University Administration to go back to the bargaining table and to make solid offers for a quick and fair settlement with CUPE Units 1 and 3.


Dear colleagues,

257 YUFA members and 6 retirees have signed an open letter to Senate Executive expressing extreme concern about the resumption of classes while the strike continues. The letter urges the University Administration to go back to the bargaining table and to make solid offers for a quick and fair settlement with CUPE Units 1 and 3.

We welcome new signatures for the open letter  The updated version (see below) will be submitted tomorrow, Thursday,  to Senate Executive, just before they start their meeting to discuss the possible Monday resumption of classes across the university. The meeting is at 2:00 pm in Kaneff Tower, and you may like to join us outside in the sun as we hand over the letter to members of Senate Executive.

If you wish to sign this letter, please send to Ricardo Grinspun <ricardo@yorku.ca>.

If you have comments on this text or wish to share or access other relevant texts and petitions, please write to Jody Berland <jberland@yorku.ca>.

A petition started by undergraduates stating support for CUPE and the refusal to cross picket lines (currently 4440 signatures) can be accessed at

Jody and Ricardo


Dear members of Senate Executive and York University administration,

We the undersigned members of YUFA express our extreme concern about the resumption of classes while the strike of CUPE1 and CUPE3 continues.

To resume teaching in some schools, programs and courses, but not others, and to reach a settlement with some units of CUPE, but not others, is divisive and destructive. We oppose resuming classes while CUPE is on strike and insist that the University administration focuses on a constructive settlement with the union. We urge the university to go back to the bargaining table, place a serious offer on the table and end this strike.

We are deeply concerned about student and employee safety and well being, and about the tarnished reputation of the university as a safe and caring place. CUPE members, other unions and a significant number of undergraduate students will not cross the picket lines. Faculty face complicated problems for course planning and pedagogy, academic integrity, continuity and workload. Moreover, many of our core commitments and values are threatened by the employer’s approach in this dispute. By not continuing negotiations, the employer is acting in a way that undermines core principles of the University mandate: fairness, justice, accessibility, respect for learning and for workers and students. We are also concerned about the troubled reputation and public face of York, which will not be enhanced by stories of disruption, widespread student disenchantment, or violence. This will have negative consequences for enrollment that cannot be countered by expensive marketing.

More than 4,300 currently enrolled undergraduate students have signed a petition stating their refusal to cross the picket line. Many CUPE2 and YUFA faculty will not cross them even if their programs re-open.  Since Senate Executive approved resumption of some classes, it is essential that it reaffirms Senate policy that all students who respect the picket lines are protected from repercussions. As students emphasize in their petition, however, return to classes during a strike introduces significant hazards and stress for everyone. We recall the chaos that ensued during a CUPE strike in 2000-01. Senate Executive decided to continue classes with instructors who were not on strike. A situation of enormous complexity and distress developed for everyone involved, but particularly for students.  Some YUFA instructors returned to teaching, many others did not.

Similarly, resumption of classes during the current strike means that CUPE2 instructors will be asked to go back to teaching. Some may refuse to cross the picket lines of their own union. What happens to their courses? When will the academic term end and the next one commence? According to which timetables? How do faculty and students manage two simultaneous term calendars: one for instructors teaching, the second for those not crossing the picket lines? What’s the impact on students having to deal with courses running on different calendars?

— In classes where instructors go back to teach, students are protected by Senate policy from repercussions if they choose not to cross picket lines. So these instructors will in turn have two sets of students, those who will return to class and those who will not. Can YUFA instructors be forced to deal with the added workload, and will CUPE2 instructors be paid for the added workload?

–What will happen to classes with graders,TAs, tutorials, and labs? Will courses proceed without scheduled assignments, tutorials, labs, or examinations and what are the academic implications? Will YUFA and CUPE2 course directors be forced to take on these tasks? What happens if course directors do not agree or are not able to do so?

–There will also be transportation chaos and an increase in safety concerns: All public transportation will continue to stop at the picket line at the edge of campus during the day. Persons with disabilities will need to make special arrangements, which may not be timely or sufficient. This risky prospect is in itself a good reason not to restart classes until the strike has been resolved.

— Picket lines will become extremely dangerous: We witnessed with horror the event at Shoreham Drive last week when a driver struck two picketers with his car.  If classes restart, thousands of cars and pedestrians will be crossing the picket lines. Strikers may extend their picket line hours to address evening classes. This situation invites further events with serious safety implications

–There will be tension and conflict on our campus: During this strike, we have upheld a sense of respect and civility towards others, and yet conflict and injury have arisen. It is not difficult to foresee changes for the worse with classes running during the strike and students and teachers feeling equally upset and disrespected.

We urge Senate Executive to maintain a full suspension of classes until all units of CUPE settle, and the University Administration to go back to the bargaining table and make solid offers seeking a quick and fair settlement with CUPE Units 1 and 3.

Respectfully signed,

[signatories as of 11:00 pm, 11 March]

Teresa Abbruzzese
Gamal Abdel-Shahid
Greg Albo
Joan Allen
Sabah Alnasseri
Pat Armstrong
Alireza Asgharzadeh
Aimé Avolonto
Ibrahim Badr
Harjeet Badwall
Deborah Barndt
Ranu Basu
Silvya Bawa
Dawn Bazely
Shannon Bell
Jody Berland
Georges Bérubé
Ulrich Best
Kathy Bischoping
Philippe Bourdin
Rob Bowma
Martin Breaugh
Deborah Brock
Mauro Buccheri
Donald Burke
Stephen Cain
Mora Campbel
Eduardo Canel
Sheila Cavanagh
David Cecchetto
Chris Chapman
Sylwia Chrostowska
Sylvie Clamageran
Matthew Clark
Colin Coates
Rosemary Coombe
Diana Cooper-Clark
Marc Coroux
Natalie Coulter
Cheryl Cowdy
Alison Crosby
Peter E. Cumming
Jennifer Dalton
Raju J. Das
Tania Das Gupta
Elizabeth Dauphinee
Deborah Davidson
Mary Catherine Davidson
Megan Davies
Nancy Davis Halifax
Gene Desfor
Susan Driver
Liisa Duncan
John Dupuis
Susan Ehrlich
Denielle Elliott
Secil Erdogan
Lorna Erwin
Jose Etcheverry
Barbara Evans
Geoffrey Ewen
Maria Figueredo
Esther Fine
Sarah Flicker
Stephen Ford
Honor Ford-Smith
Scott Forsyth
Any Marie-Gérard François
Gail Fraser
Amber Gazso
Liette Gilbert
Amanda Glasbeek
Mary Goiton
Terry Goldie
Luin Goldring
Mark Goodman
Andil Gosine
Allan Greenbaum
Ricardo Grinspun
Aitana Guia
Shubhra Gururani
Ratiba Hadj-Moussa
Jan Hadlaw
Laam Hae
Eve Haque
Jinthana Haritaworn
Sharon Hayashi
Judy Hellman
Steve Hellman
Barbara Heron
Rob Heynen
Teresa Holmes
Asher Horowitz
Pablo Idahosa
Susan Ingram
Stanley Jeffers
William Jenkins
Cameron Johnston
Jan Kainer
Ilan Kapoor
Ali Kazimi
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston
Peggy Keall
J. Keeping
Roger Keil
Philip Kelly
Kamala Kempadoo
Gerald Kernerman
Shawn Kervin
Sean Kheraj
Janice Kim
Stefan Kipfer
Katherine Knight
Ruth Koleszar-Green
Ildiko Kovacs
Christina Kraenzie
Sailaja Krishnamurti
Avron Kulak
Fuyuki Kurasawa
Lawrence Lam
Robert Latham
Bonita Lawrence
Geoff Lawrence
James Laxer
Timothy Leduc
Becky Lee
Ute Lehrer
Joel Lexchin
Maria Liegghio
Shanna Lino
Carla Lipsig-Mumme
Kenneth Little
Rodney Loeppky
Brenda Longfellow
Steven Longstaff
Marcia Macaulay
Robert MacDermid
Teresa Macias
Alice MacLachlan
Heather MacRae
Sarah Maiter
Terry Maley
Guida Man
Janine Marchessault
Irene Marques
Alina Marquez
Jocelyn Martel
Aryn Martin
Emiro Martinez-Osorio
Atsuko Matsuoka
John B. Mayberry
Carlota McAllister
John McCullough
Patricia McDermott
Gillian McGillivray
Wendy McKeen
Arthur McLuhan
J. J. McMurtry
David McNab
David McNally
Merouan Mekouar
Jacinthe Michaud
Michael Michie
Haideh Moghissi
Georges Monette
Radhika Mongia
Felipe Montoya-Greenheck
Esteve Morera
Georges Moyal
Arun Mukherjee
Carmella Murdocca
Karen Murray
Marcello Musto
Natasha Myers
Eric Mykhalovskiy
Nancy Nicol
Michael Nijhawan
Karen Xiao Ning Shi
Anne O’Connell
Andrea O’Reilly
Deborah Orr
Laurence Packer
Leo Panitch
Hyun Ok Park
Viviana Patroni
Mark Peacock
Linda Peake
Patricia (Ellie) Perkins
Nalini Persram
Kelly Pike
Dennis Pilon
Carolyn Podruchny
Justin Podur
Ann Porter
Anna Pratt
Valerie Preston
Alice Propper
Norene Pupo
Roberto Quinlan
Barbara Rahder
Saeed Rahnema
Indhu Rajagopal
Esther Raventós-Pons
Geoffrey Reaume
Darryl Reed
Markus Reisenleitner
Nick Rogers
Sylvie Rosienski-Pellerin
Stephanie Ross
Robin Roth
Don Rubin
Anne Rubinstein
Anne Russon
L. Anders Sandberg
Richard Saunders
Sonya Scott
Victor Shea
Brian Singer
Lisa Sloniowski
Bruce Smardon
Diana Spokiene
Glenn Stalker
Penni Stewart
Martha Stiegman
Saskia Stille
David Szablowski
Yvette Szmidt
Patrick Taylor
Matthew Tegelberg
Frehiwot Tesfaye
Mark Thomas
Steven Tufts
Stanley Tweyman
Dorin Uritescu
Peter Vandergeest
Gail Vanstone
Jim Vernon
Livy Visano
Leah Vosko
Colleen Wagner
James Walker
Andy Weaver
Gerda Wekerle
Walter Whiteley
Sandra Whitworth
David Wiesenthal
Daphne Winland
Ted Winslow
Renita Wong
Leslie Wood
Patricia Wood
Dan Yon
Douglas Young
Lelia Young
Suzie Young
Anna Zalik
Michael Zryd

Retired members:

Linda Briskin
Nick Lary
Louis Lefeber
Liisa North
Ester Reiter
Richard Weisman

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