March 18, 2018
The YUFA members of the Department of Cinema and Media Arts have considerable concerns around the academic integrity of courses during a labour disruption. We will respect the picket line and are suspending all classes during the CUPE 3903 strike.
We have taken this decision collectively on March 3, 2018 for the following reasons:
The academic integrity of our undergraduate and graduate programs would be compromised if courses were not to be suspended, because some students will attend while others will not, because teaching assistants are integral to many of our courses, and because CUPE course directors offer essential teaching services in the Department.
• Many of our CUPE colleagues are also our students who face constantly increasing costs, eroding living conditions and uncertain futures. Forcing them to cross their own picket lines is senseless.
• Past and very recent experiences on the picket lines suggest that inconsistencies about which courses are resuming contribute to dangerous incidents.
• The brunt of the work resulting from having some classes operate while others do not falls disproportionately to our YUSA colleagues, who must deal with questions, concerns, frustrations, and anger in ways that undermine the quality of their workplace.
We recognize that the strike has put students in a difficult situation, creating uncertainty for many. We believe that by suspending courses, we can create clarity for students in our department. We also believe that this will create a space for CUPE and the employer to focus on arriving at a fair and equitable settlement to this strike as rapidly as possible. We are committed to a fair and equitable process of remediation after the strike.
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Cinema and Media Arts