Two motions from the Department of Humanities 1

The Department of Humanities held an emergency department meeting on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to discuss the CUPE strike and its impact. Below are the Department statement on the strike and a motion to the Senate Executive, both of which passed unanimously at the meeting:

1. Department Statement

The Department of Humanities supports the motion passed at LA&PS Faculty Council on March 12, 2014:

Be it resolved that

The Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies take the decision to call upon Senate to suspend all classes within LAPS for the duration of the CUPE 3903 Strike without delay.

We reaffirm our commitment to our CUPE colleagues and recognize their indispensable contributions to teaching in Humanities. TAs and CUPE instructors are integral to our programs and without their contribution, the integrity of our courses cannot be maintained. Like other departments have done, we encourage the university to work with CUPE 3903 to arrive at a fair and equitable agreement as quickly as possible.

We also support our students  rights, under York University Senate Policy, not to participate in academic activities, including their right to refuse to cross a virtual or actual picket line without being penalized for whatever reason. In addition, we recognize that many of our CUPE colleagues are also our students who face constantly increasing costs, eroding living conditions and uncertain futures.

As our CUPE colleagues state in their March 11 letter to the Department: the strike has put students in a difficult situation, creating uncertainty for many. Suspending classes would help create some clarity for students. Suspending classes will also facilitate CUPE and the employer to focus on arriving at a fair and equitable settlement to this strike as quickly as possible.

2. Motion to Senate Executive

The Department also unanimously approved the following motion to the Senate Executive:

Following the outcome of the March 8 Senate meeting, the Department of Humanities protests the Senate executive current interpretation of the York Act. In its written presentation to that meeting and in subsequent statements, Senate executive states that decisions regarding the business and affairs of the University are vested in the Board even where they may have an impact on academic policy.

The Department of Humanities asks the Senate Executive to assume its proper authority in all academic matters including the decision to suspend classes for the duration of the CUPE strike.

Open letter to York History Re: continuation of classes 1

March 12, 2018

Dear York University History Chair Thabit Abdullah, Graduate History Chair Jeremy Trevett, Undergraduate History Chair Deborah Neill, and all sitting members of the University Senate:

We are writing as a response to the letter posted here.

As your past and current York University Graduate History students we urgently request that you:

  1. Immediately suspend all classes that continue to be held in your respective programs and
  2. Pressure the University Senate and the Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Faculty Council to immediately suspend all classes that continue to be run at York University both on campus and online for the duration of the CUPE 3903 strike.

York University History is known internationally as a centre for social, cultural and intellectual history and has produced some of Canada’s finest scholars in labour, gender, environmental and Indigenous history. As scholars in these fields we have contributed to marginalised histories: the working class; women; the LGBTQ2S community; Indigenous peoples. How can we claim to teach the experiences of those without power and then turn around and ask our undergraduate students to cross picket lines and ignore the working conditions of our Unit 2 colleagues and graduate students? It is unfathomable.

CUPE 3903 has had a direct impact on the success of the History Department, attracting some of the top scholars and training many of us for careers in labour. CUPE 3903 members have gone on to lead faculty unions across Canada. York University is not alone in its struggles with labour disruption. Strikes at York, University of Toronto, Laurentian, University of Manitoba, Carleton, University of Northern British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the historic 2017 strike of Ontario’s Colleges all took place in the last five years.

We believe that the continuation of classes is not in the best interest of students, and does not promote academic integrity. The university administration is aware of this, and its intention is to undermine the union and put its members in a precarious position. During the last strike in 2015, union members in the History Department received death threats on the picket lines, and other members of the union were hit by vehicles. This strike has already, in the first week, put our members in danger from extremely aggressive drivers. Last week an aggressive driver at Chimneystack Road (where History performs picketing duties) drove beside, and then into, the picket line area. His excuse – he was “late to class.” A driver at the Northwest Gate assaulted the picketers because he had a midterm – was it one of ours? Failing to cancel classes directly threatens our members’ health and safety – members of not only CUPE 3903, but also members of the History Department. Heavier traffic coming into campus puts our bodies in danger. Considering this very real threat to our members and colleagues, we earnestly implore history faculty to consider our safety and not conduct their classes during the strike.

Other departments, faculties, and student groups have already requested the immediate suspension of classes during the strike in solidarity with CUPE 3903, including: Faculty of Environmental Science graduate students; the York Federation of Students Access Centre; the College President’s Association; and the Departments of Social Science; Sociology; Political Science; Gender; Feminist & Women’s Studies; the School of Translation; Cinema and Media Arts; Equity Studies; Communication Studies; FES; Social Work, and Anthropology.

We ask you to reconsider your position.

In Solidarity with 3903 and our other faculty unions across Canada,

  • Aaron Armstrong, PhD Student, York University; CUPE 3903
  • Aaron Miedema,  BA Carleton University, BFA York University; MA Royal Military College of Canada,PhD (ABD) York University
  • Abril Liberatori, PhD York University
  • Adrian Gamble, PhD candidate, ABD, York University
  • Aitana Guia, PhD York University, Assistant Professor, California State University Fullerton
  • Alan Corbiere, Ph. D candidate, York University
  • Alban Bargain, PhD York University; Contract Faculty at York
  • Alex Gagne, PhD Student, York University; CUPE 3903
  • Amanda Robinson, BA, MA (York University), PhD Candidate, ABD (York University), Course Director, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
  • Andrew Watson, PhD York University; Assistant Professor, University of Saskatchewan
  • Angela Rooke, BA University of Waterloo; MA, PhD York University
  • Angela Zhang, BA University of Toronto; MA Queen’s University; PhD; CUPE 3903
  • Anne Toews, PhD (ABD) York University; Instructor, Langara College; Langara Faculty Association
  • Ashlee Barwell HBA, MA, PhD (ABD), York University
  • Avram Heisler, BA (Specialized Honours), MA, PhD (ABD), York University – current CUPE 3903 Steward, Department of History
  • Barbara Molas, BA Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Spain), MA Freie Universitat Berlin (Germany) and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain), PhD candidate, York University
  • Barry Torch, BA, Wilfrid Laurier University, MA, PhD (ABD), York University; CUPE 3903
  • Brad Meredith, BA, MA, PhD (ABD)
  • Brittany Luby, PhD York University; Assistant Professor, University of Guelph
  • Brooke Sales-Lee, BA University of California Berkeley, MA York University
  • Bruce Douville, PhD York University — Part-time faculty member in History at Algoma University
  • Carly Murdoch, BA York University, MA University of Western Ontario, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Carly Naismith, BA, MA, PhD (ABD), York University, CUPE 3903 (Unit 1)
  • Carly Simpson, BA, MA Western University; PhD (ABD) York University; Partial Load Faculty Conestoga College; OPSEU 237
  • Caroline Butt, BA (Hons), Memorial University, MA, Dalhousie University, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Chelsea Bauer CUPE 3903 Unit 1 Bargaining Team
  • Christine Grandy, PhD, York University; Senior Lecturer, University of Lincoln; British Academy Mid-Career Fellow
  • Christine McLaughlin, BA, MA, Trent University, PhD (ABD) York University, Executive Director, UOIT Faculty Association
  • Christopher Frank, PhD,York University; Associate Professor of History, University of Manitoba
  • Christopher Grafos, PhD, Research Associate, York University
  • Christopher Kshyk, BA (Hons.), University of Winnipeg; MA, York University
  • Chris Vogel, BA Western University, MA, PhD York University, CUPE 3903 Member
  • Cristiana Conti, BA, Tor Vergata University, Rome (Italy), MA, PhD (ABD), York University
  • Cynthia Loch-Drake, PhD, York University, Contract Faculty, Schulich School of Business (CUPE 3903-exempt)
  • Dagomar Degroot, PhD York University; Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
  • Dan Horner, BA, McGill University; MA, PhD, York University; Assistant Professor, Ryerson University
  • Daniel Ross, MA, PhD York University; Assistant Professor, UQÀM
  • Daniel Xie, BA, University of Toronto; MA, York University
  • Dave Hazzan, BA, University of Victoria; MA, Athabasca University; PhD student, York University; CUPE 3903 Member
  • Dave Smith, PhD, York University, Professor, Durham College, OPSEU 354 member
  • David Molenhuis, BA, University of Western Ontario; MA, York University
  • Della Roussin, BA, MA-UBC, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Douglas Hunter, PhD, York University
  • Elaine Naylor, Ph.D, York University, Associate Professor, Mount Allison University
  • Elizabeth O’Gorek, Capital Community News (Washington DC), BA University of Winnipeg, MA University of Waterloo, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Émilie Pigeon, PhD; Lab Coordinator, Métis Family and Community Research Lab, Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies University of Ottawa; APTPUO
  • Emily Vey, BA York; MA Laurentian;  PhD Candidate York University
  • Enrico Moretto, BA, University of Toronto; MA, PhD Student, York University
  • Erica McCloskey, BA, MA, PhD (ABD), York University; CUPE 3903
  • Erin Dolmage, BA, MA, University of British Columbia; PhD (ABD) York University; Professor Seneca College; OPSEU 560
  • Evelyn Hielkema, MA York University, PhD Candidate, York University, CUPE 3903
  • Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert, PhD (ABD) York University, Filmmaker
  • Funke Aladejebi, PhD York University, MA York University, Assistant Professor (limited term), Gender and Women’s Studies Department, Trent University.
  • Geoff Read, PhD (York University), Associate Professor of History, Huron University College
  • Gilberto Fernandes, PhD, York University; Postdoctoral Visitor, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies; Course Director (YUFA), HIST4530, Department of History, York University
  • Gillian Poulter, BA, BEd, MA, PhD (York University), Associate Professor, Acadia University
  • Golaleh P., PhD (ABD) York University
  • Graeme Melcher, BA (Hons.), Queen’s University, MA, York University; JD, Dalhousie
  • Haley Gienow-McConnell, Brock University, BA, MA History; York University, PhD ABD History
  • Harrison Forsyth, BA, York; MA, University of Alberta; PhD (ABD) York; CUPE 3903
  • Ian Mosby, PhD, York University
  • Jaclyn Mika, BA, Ryerson University, MA student York University
  • James Muir, PhD, York University; Associate Professor of History and Law, University of Alberta.
  • James Naylor, PhD, York University; Professor Brandon University
  • Janice Matsumura, PhD (York University), Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University
  • Jarett Henderson, PhD, York University; Associate Professor, Mount Royal University
  • Jarvis Brownlie, Professor, University of Manitoba
  • Jason Chartrand, BA (Hons.) King’s University College at Western University; MA, PhD Student, York University, GHSA Co-President, CUPE 3903 (Unit 1)
  • Jay Young, PhD York University, AMAPCEO
  • Jesse Thistle BA; MA; PhD Student, York University; Resident Scholar of Indigenous Homelessness The Homeless Hub
  • Jen Hassum, BA, MA, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Jim Clifford, PhD, York University; Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan.
  • Joanna L. Pearce, BA, MA, PhD (ABD), York University; CUPE 3903
  • Jodi Burkett, BA (Hons) University of Toronto, MA McGill, PhD York, Principal Lecturer and Subject Leader for History University of Portsmouth UK
  • Johanna Lewis, BSc, University of Toronto; MA, PhD Student, York University; CUPE 3903
  • Joseph Tohill, PhD York University
  • Julia Pyryeskina, BA, York University; MA, York University (History); YUSA member
  • Karen Macfarlane, PhD, York University (History)
  • Karlee Sapoznik Evans, BAH, MA, PhD York University; Research and Policy Advisor, Government of Manitoba.
  • Kate Barker, BA (Hons), Queen’s University; BAA, Ryerson University; MA, PhD (ABD) York University; part-time instructor Ryerson School of Journalism; CUPE 3904
  • Katharine Bausch, PhD (York University), Assistant Professor, Carleton University
  • Kathryn Magee Labelle, PhD; Associate Professor University of Saskatchewan
  • Kevin Burris, BA (Hons), Simon Fraser University; MA, PhD (ABD) York University; CUPE 3903
  • Kevin Chrisman, PhD Candidate, York University
  • Kristin Burnett, PhD, York University; Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Learning, Lakehead University;
  • Kristine Alexander, PhD York University, Canada Research Chair & Assistant Professor of History, the University of Lethbridge
  • Kristopher Radford PhD, PhD York University
  • Kyle Prochnow, BA, Saint Mary’s College of California; MA, Boston College; PhD (ABD) York University; CUPE 3903
  • Lee Slinger, MA PhD York University; Editor, The Dance Current
  • Lisa Chilton, PhD York University, Associate Professor, History Dept, UPEI
  • Luke Hagemann, BA, UNC Chapel Hill; MA, York University; PhD Student, Emory University
  • Lydia Wytenbroek, BA, MA, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Lynne Marks, PhD York University, Professor, History Department, University of Victoria
  • Lynn MacKay, BA, MA, PhD (York University), Professor, Brandon University
  • Madeleine Chartrand, BA, University of Manitoba; MA, PhD York University
  • Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D (York University), Executive Director, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
  • Marlee Couling, BAHon, Brandon University; MA, PhD (ABD) York University; CUPE 3903
  • Maryann Buri, BA, Brandon University; MA, PhD (ABD) York University; CUPE 3903
  • Mary Franks, BA, University of California Santa Cruz, MA University of Kansas, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Mathieu Brûlé, BA, MA, University of Ottawa; PHD York University (ABD); Negotiator, Public Service Alliance of Canada; member Unifor 2025
  • Matthew Poggi, PhD (ABD) York; CUPE 3903 (Unit 1)
  • Matthew Robertshaw, BA, MA University of Guelph; PhD student York University; CUPE 3903 Unit 1 Member
  • Maximilian Smith, BA, University of Toronto; MA, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Michael Ainsworth, BA, Laurier; BEd, York University; MA, York University; PhD (ABD), York University
  • Michael Akladios, BA (Spec. Hons.), MA, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Natasha Henry, PhD Student, York University
  • Nathan Ince, BA Carleton University, MA York University PhD (ABD) McGill University
  • Nelson Marques, BA, MA, York University; MA; PhD (ABD) University of Miami.
  • Noa Nahmias, PhD (ABD) York University, CUPE 3903 member
  • Olya Murphy, PhD (ABD) York University, CUPE 3903 member
  • Pamela J. Fuentes, PhD York University, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies Department, Pace University-NYC
  • Patrice Allen, PhD Student York University, CUPE 3903 member
  • Paul Aikenhead, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Raluca Andrei, BA, BEd, MA, York University; OCT
  • Reut Ullman, BA, MA (York University); former CUPE 3903 Unit 3 member; PhD candidate at Columbia University
  • Richard Aronson, CPA,CMA, BComm Concordia University; BA, MA, PhD(ABD) York University
  • Rob Kristofferson, PhD (York), Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Ronald Morris, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Ruth Frager, PhD, York University; Associate Professor, McMaster University
  • Ryan Targa, PhD (ABD), York University, Course Director, CUPE 3903 Member
  • Samantha Desroches, BA, Western University; MA, York University, PhD (ABD) Western University
  • Samantha Rohrig, BA, University of Manitoba; MA, Brock University; PhD Student, York University; CUPE 3903
  • Sara Farhan, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Sarah Elvins, MA, York University; PhD, York University; Associate Professor University of Manitoba
  • Sara Howdle, BA, UofM; MA; PhD (ABD) York, Coordinator for the Indigenous Women’s  Resilience Project, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta
  • Sara Muscat, BA, Carleton University; MA, Queen’s University; PhD (ABD), York University
  • Serge Miville, PhD York University; Professeur adjoint, Chaire de recherche en histoire de l’Ontario français, Université Laurentienne; LUFAPPUL
  • Shannon Stettner, PhD (York University), Contract Faculty, University of Waterloo
  • Sheila McManus, PhD York University 2001, Professor of History, University of Lethbridge
  • Stacy Nation-Knapper, PhD York University; Postdoctoral Fellow, Wilson Institute for Canadian History, McMaster University
  • Stuart Henderson, PhD
  • Susan Roy, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo, former York postdoc
  • Tarah Brookfield, PhD, York University; Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Thomas Peace, PhD (York University); Assistant Professor, Huron University College
  • Tom Hooper, PhD York University, CSSP York History. BA, MA University of Guelph
  • Tommaso Leoni, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Travis Hay, PhD (ABD) York University; MA Lakehead University; Sessional Instructor in Departments of Indigenous Learning and Political Science, Lakehead University
  • Tristan Ellis, MA York University. High School Teacher, Kuwait City. OCT.
  • Valentina Capurri, PhD (York University)
  • Valerie Deacon, PhD (York University), Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU Shanghai
  • Vanessa S. Oliveira, PhD York University; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • Victoria Jackson, PhD (ABD) York University
  • Will Baker, PhD (ABD), York;  former steward, CUPE, Local 3903
  • Will Fysh, MA (York University), PhD candidate (University of Toronto)
  • William Gleberzon PhD MED, York University, History and Humanities Department
  • William Goldbloom, BA, University of British Columbia; MA, York University (History); JD, University of Toronto
  • Zachary Consitt, BA, BEd, MA, PhD Candidate, York University; CUPE 3903

Critical Disability Studies Students and Alumni Response to the CUPE 3903 Strike 1

March 8, 2018

Dear Critical Disability Studies Department Head, Dr. Nancy Viva Davis Halifax, Chair of the School of Health Policy and Management, Dr. Marina Morrow, Graduate Program Director of Health Policy and Equity, Dr. Dennis Raphael, Dean of the Faculty of Health, Dr. Paul McDonald, and all sitting members of the University Senate:

We are writing you as past and current York University Critical Disability Studies students with an urgent request to:

a)   Immediately suspend all classes that continue to be held in your respective programs (Critical Disability Studies, the School of Health Policy and Management, and Health, Nursing, and Environmental Studies) and
b)   Pressure the University Senate to immediately suspend all classes that continue to be run at York University both on campus and online for the duration of the CUPE 3903 strike.

As Critical Disability Studies students, we are immersed in reading, writing, and thinking about social justice every day. We recognize that social justice, and accessibility in particular, are inextricable from the issues CUPE 3903 members are striking over at present – including but not limited to generalized precarity; lack of job and income security; support for survivors of sexual violence; and proactive measures protecting and promoting diversity, equity, and accessibility in processes of hiring and promotion.

Contrary to what York’s official communication may lead students to believe, the continuation of some classes during the strike, along with the liberty granted to professors to make individual decisions about the continuation of their classes, runs contrary to the interests of students, staff, and faculty alike. York University’s cultivated fragmentation of our community pits students against each other, our professors, and our morals – including those that undergird the fundamental principles of our disciplines. Students are being told to choose between supporting a union fighting for the future we are taught to imagine and compromising academics into which we have poured significant time and monies. Despite Senate policy, classes that continue to run during the strike necessarily disadvantage those unwilling and/or unable to cross picket lines, both material and virtual. Students who do not attend classes still running miss accessing lectures, in-class discussions, and the opportunity to interact with course directors and peers, as well as the ability to follow syllabi as planned. While those who do not cross picket lines are entitled to appropriate accommodations following the strike, there is no way to ensure that, compared to peers who have continued to attend class, we will retain an equal ability to excel in our courses.

We know that disabled people face disproportionately high rates of poverty, are subject to un/under-employment, and continue to struggle to access and remain in institutions of higher learning. Those of us who identify as neurodivergent, Mad, D/deaf, and/or disabled are dependent on the kinds of measures being advocated for by CUPE 3903. Health benefits, long-term job security and stability, and financial support, among others, would help address structural barriers and alleviate the enormous stress and anxiety already steeped throughout academia. No one is served by a rotating door that disproportionately expels disabled students, staff, and faculty who rely on whatever material and emotional certainties academia can provide to them. We also recognize that issues of disability and accessibility are compounded by and entangled with other forms of marginalization; the advancement of rights and protections for LGBTTQ* people, racialized people, Indigenous people, women, trans, and non-binary people – as advocated for by CUPE 3903 – are, in fact, advancements for all.

We are writing following suit of other Departments, Faculties, and student groups who have already requested the immediate suspension of classes during the strike in solidarity with CUPE 3903, including Faculty of Environmental Science graduate students; the York Federation of Students Access Centre; the College Presidents Association; and the Departments of Social Science; Sociology; Politics; Gender; Feminist & Women’s Studies; the School of Translation; Politics, Cinema and Media Arts; Equity Studies; Communication Studies; and Social Work.

The School of Health Policy and Management has stated by e-mail that they support CUPE 3903, but we are asking that this sentiment be translated into meaningful action. Rather than continue to allow YUFA faculty to make individual decisions about their courses, we ask that professors set an example to their students of active allyship and praxis by immediately suspending all classes in Health, Nursing, and Environmental Studies.

We do not want to cross picket lines of any kind representing our and our professors’ futures and livelihoods. We do not want to endorse the perpetuation of a two-tiered system of recognition and compensation in academia that leaves us with access to only 40% of all available faculty members at York University for supervision. We do not want to place our professors, colleagues, and peers on the picket lines at greater physical risk by inadvertently stoking animosity among our community and encouraging community members to continue to come to campus. And we do not want to contribute to prolonging this strike; given collective bargaining practices to date, we feel that the strike is much more likely to be effective and resolved in a timely fashion if we respect and respond to the pressing concerns of CUPE 3903 and allow them to disrupt the university’s habitual functioning as per their legal rights.

Precarity, either explicit or condoned through a lack of action, serves no one and its perpetuation represents an inequitable, unsustainable, and untenable future for all those involved in academia and all those yet to be involved.

We urge you to take seriously our request and respond with concrete action by suspending all classes still running.

Sincerely, and in solidarity with CUPE 3903,

Caroline Kovesi, MA Critical Disability Studies
Lorena Moltisanti, MA Critical Disability Studies
Jessica Doberstein, MA Critical Disability Studies
Raya Shields, MA Critical Disability Studies
Rylie Whitchurch, MA Critical Disability Studies
Michelle Shelley, PhD Critical Disability Studies
Fallon Burns, MA Critical Disability Studies
Sara Liden, MA Interdisciplinary Studies
Aisha Farra, MA Critical Disability Studies
Kimberley Sauder, PhD Critical Disability Studies
Hilda Smith, PhD Critical Disability Studies
Kevin Jackson, MA Critical Disability Studies (Alumni)
Dr. Jen Rinaldi, PhD Critical Disability Studies (Alumni, President of the Canadian Disability Studies Association 2017-2018)
Cath Duchastel de Montrouge, MA Critical Disability Studies (Alumni)
Bridget Liang, MA Critical Disability Studies (Alumni)
Fiona Cheuk, MA Critical Disability Studies (Alumni)
Fran Odette, MSW (Past-President of the Canadian Disability Studies Association 2016-2017)
Jenna Reid, PhD Critical Disability Studies
Julia Gruson-Wood
Estee Klar, PhD Critical Disability Studies
Jenna Caprani, MA Critical Disability Studies
Amber Reid, MA Critical Disability Studies (Alumni)

An open letter to FES Dean by Master’s students 1

March 7, 2018

Dear Dean de Costa,

As students of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, we are writing to ask that the Faculty suspend classes for the duration of the CUPE 3903 strike, in following with other academic departments across the University.

We do not consider non-action in this situation to be a neutral stance but rather a decision in alignment with the York University administration. By allowing classes to continue, students feel pressured by the administration and their professors to cross the picket line, whether physically or electronically. The decision by FES to continue with classes despite the strike undermines the authority of CUPE 3903.

Our faculty has been the most affected by the 800 graduate student jobs that were cut over the past two years. Hundreds of us who are graduate students in FES have lost the opportunity to gain crucial work experience as graduate or research assistants, as well as the health insurance and benefits that allow students to continue their studies. Many of us will now graduate without any academic work experience. This strike is going forward in part to demand that the University return these jobs. As students who should be members of CUPE 3903 currently or in future years, we see our solidarity as a critical part of this strike.

The Department of Equity Studies has stated that they “cannot in good faith provide education which is inconsistent and lacking in integrity, where some students are being taught, albeit without the kind of curriculum and pedagogy they were promised, while others are being deprived outright because of the conviction of their conscience.”

The Department of Sociology and the Graduate Programme in Sociology has said that the strike will “put students in a difficult situation, creating uncertainty for many [and] that by suspending classes, we can create clarity for students in our department.”

The School of Social Work has said that the “inconsistencies about which courses will continue leads to confusion and unfairness to students.”

The Department of Politics has argued that, “the suspension of all classes for the duration of the strike will minimise the chances of dangerous incidents on the picket lines, which have occurred in previous strikes.”

All of these departments also agree that TAs and CUPE instructors are integral to our programs and without their contribution, the integrity of our courses cannot be maintained.

We ask that the faculty align itself with its mandate and act as a faculty that is “dedicated to inspiring active-learners and engaged citizens… that respects and values insight, creativity, justice, and diversity and that works to promote significant social and environmental change toward the creation of a more equitable and sustainable world.” We ask that the faculty immediately suspend all classes for the duration of the strike for the safety and integrity of our students.

Sincerely,

FES Students

Kristina Hedlund, MES
Jessica Buckley, BES
Zoë Dodd, MES
Cal Caesar, MES
Robert Wiseman, MES
Grant Calder, MES
Jenna Davidson, MES
Kayla Ginter, MES
Amarita Singh, MES
Loren March, MES
Monica De Vera, MES
Jassi Ranauta, MES
Thomas Lewallen, MES
Jerrica Gilbert, MES
Enrique Moran, MES
Aida Mas, MES
Omar Elsharkawy, MES
Tim Martin, MES
Alex Gatien, MES
Shelby Kennedy, MES
Rabia Ahmed, MES
Hillary Ashley, MES
Cindy Pham, MES
Melina Damian MES
Sarah Jackson MES
Kusha Dadui, MES
Tai Vo, MES
Alicia Campney, JD/MES
Michelle Chin-Dawe, MES
Maureen Owino, MES
Melissa Sobers, MES

Open Letter to Colleagues from the Faculty of Education 1

March 7, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to express our concern with our Faculty’s handling of the recent strike and to offer what we wish to be constructive recommendations for moving forward. Faculties of Education have long histories and ties to Teacher Federation labour struggles to ensure the place and protection of teachers in the profession, and children and families in the communities they serve. Indeed, the OCT recognizes this professional history in their quick suspension of the practicum block during the period of the strike.

Rather than acknowledge this history and commitment to the profession, the first response of the administration of the Faculty of Education was to send a deeply problematic form for instructors to outline their reasons for possibly suspending their courses. According to the University Faculty Senate, Professors have the professional right and responsibility to determine if the academic integrity of their course is compromised by the strike.

We feel our Faculty’s collective first responses should be to reach out to students and our school and community partners, suspend all courses and to send a note to our students informing them of our academic and professional responsibility to do so. So many of our courses rely on the support of Graduate Assistants, Seconded and Contracted faculty with strong ties to Unions. Moreover, our graduate program is made up of students who support our Pre-Service and BA (Educational Studies) programs. It is critical that the Faculty of Education of all faculties, show measured support of and pedagogical responsibility for our graduate and undergraduate students.  Above all, collegial principles of education require professors in times of social and political turmoil to take a stand for their students and colleagues.

This is not the first time we have been called upon to respond to a strike and, yet, each time it seems more difficult for us as a faculty, (especially because of the unfortunate cancellation of faculty council meeting this month) to engage critical issues of academic integrity and faculty governance. We call for constructive, principled discussion of collegial process in the spirit of collegiality, as well as mutual respect and understanding for our students and each other during and after the strike.

Sincerely,

Steve Alsop (Professor)
Ixchel Bennett (Seconded Faculty)
Khaled Barkaoui (Associate Professor)
Warren Crichlow (Associate Professor)
Roopa Desai Trilokekar (Associate Professor)
Mario Di Paolantonio (Associate Professor)
Don Dippo (University Professor)
Jen Jenson (Professor)
Isabel Killoran (Associate Professor)
Didi Khayatt, (Professor)
Joy Mannette (Associate Professor)
Aparna Mishra Tarc (Associate Professor)
Naomi Norquay (Associate Professor)
Gillian Parekh (Assistant Professor)
Tina Rapke (Assistant Professor)
Theresa Shanahan (Associate Professor)
Vidya Shah (Seconded Faculty)
Nastassia Subban (Seconded Faculty)
Kurt Thumlert (Assistant Professor)

 

 

E-mail to students from Glendon POLS Chair 1

March 5, 2018

Tous les cours en POLS suspendus / all courses in POLS suspended

Chers étudiants en POLS / Dear POLS students,

Le département POLS a décidé que tous les cours en POLS seront suspendus pendant la grève: la clarté apportée par la suspension de toutes les classes pendant la durée de la grève garantit l’intégrité académique et favorise la sécurité des étudiants et la santé mentale des étudiants et des professeurs / The POLS department has decided that all courses in POLS will be suspended for the duration of the strike: the clarity provided by suspending all classes for the duration of the strike safeguards academic integrity and promotes student safety and student and faculty mental health.

Glendon Faculty Council passed two motions (disponibles en anglais seulement pour le moment):

For reasons set out in the rationale below, it is the opinion of Council that classes should not be held in the event of a CUPE 3903 strike.

Rationale: Holding classes during a strike will compromise the academic integrity of our programmes. Safety and security of our students is a paramount concern. Uncertainty generates student and faculty anxiety and negatively impacts mental health. Therefore, the clarity provided by suspending all classes for the duration of the strike safeguards academic integrity, and promotes student safety and student and faculty mental health.
et/and

That Senate Executive suspend all classes on the Glendon Campus in the event of and for the duration of a CUPE 3903 strike, based on the previous motion.

Il semble que l’administration n’a pas encore informé les étudiants de ces motions, mais en attendant vous avez des droits / It seems that the administration has not yet informed students of these motions, but in the meantime you have rights [Senate policy link]:

Students who do not participate in academic activities because:
a) they are unable to do so owing to a Disruption, or
b) they choose not to participate in academic activities owing to a strike or lock-out on campus
are entitled to immunity from penalty, to reasonable alternative access to materials covered in their absence, to reasonable extensions of deadlines and to such other remedy as Senate deems necessary and consistent with the principle of academic integrity.

La meilleure source d’informations sur vos cours reste vos professeurs / The best source of information about your courses remains your professors.

Si vous avez des problèmes pour obtenir l’immunité de pénalité, des prolongations raisonnables des délais, etc. svp faites le moi savoir / If you have any problems obtaining immunity from penalty, reasonable extensions of deadlines, etc, please let me know.

Willem Maas
Directeur/Chair, Glendon POLS

Two motions by the Glendon Faculty Council 1

March 2, 2018

Glendon Faculty Council motions

Motion: For reasons set out in the rationale below, it is the opinion of Council that classes should not be held in the event of a CUPE 3903 strike.

Rationale: Holding classes during a strike will compromise the academic integrity of our programmes. Safety and security of our students is a paramount concern. Uncertainty generates student and faculty anxiety and negatively impacts mental health. Therefore, the clarity provided by suspending all classes for the duration of the strike safeguards academic integrity, and promotes student safety and student and faculty mental health.

and

Motion: That Senate Executive suspend all classes on the Glendon Campus in the event of and for the duration of a CUPE 3903 strike, based on the previous motion.

Statement of Solidarity from the Queen’s University Geography Graduate Student Council (GSC) Reply

Government mandates and university administrative demands force graduate enrolment to grow at unsustainable rates, despite departments’ inadequacy to support such enrolment. Academic career opportunity upon graduation is increasingly dismal. The use of graduate and sessional labour for cost-cutting in course delivery is deeply troubling and shameful. The corporatization of Canadian universities is resulting in increasing economic inequality between high-level administration and academic staff, as well as rising tuition rates despite stunted education quality. Amidst this environment of inflated tuition and decreasing quality of education, graduate funding remains relatively stagnant in the face of the steadily-rising cost of living in cities like Toronto.
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