Open letter from Osgoode Strike Support Committee Reply

March 28, 2018

Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University Lisa Philipps, Interim Vice President Academic and Provost, York University Leslie Beagrie, Senate Chair, York University Lucy Fromowitz, Vice Provost, Students, York University

Osgoode Students Support the ongoing Senate Reclamation at York University

Dear York Administration:

The Osgoode Strike Support Committee endorses the ongoing occupation of the York University Senate chambers by our fellow undergraduate students in support of striking CUPE 3903 members. We affirm the constitutional right to freedom of association, expression, and assembly enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The undergraduate students occupying the Senate chambers demand that the university get back to the bargaining table and find a fair resolution to the ongoing labour disruption. We support these demands and echo their calls. The members of CUPE 3903 are the workers who make York university work; they bear 60% of the teaching load and deserve a fair deal which honours and compensates the labour they put into the university as a centre of teaching and research.

We are in daily communication with the undergrads inside the Senate chambers. We are concerned by the university’s use of private security guards–a worrying trend we first observed during the Aramark strike in 2015. We see this as an attempt to intimidate students, and break the solidarity and support extended by workers and students from across the city. We are concerned by the blatant power imbalance between the undergrads and the university administration.

Students at York and across the globe have always been at the forefront of struggles for social, political and economic justice. Indeed, we are reminded of the successful student reclamation at York University which resulted in the implementation of the university’s first sustainability policy. These were hard earned victories accomplished through successful student mobilization and direct action.

We will continue to lend our political and moral support to the undergraduate reclamation of the Senate chambers. We echo their voices and urge the university administration to get back to the bargaining table.

–  Osgoode Strike Support Committee

 

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