More than 300 professors (full-time or retired), librarians and archivists at York University have issued an open letter calling on the University central administration to settle with CUPE 3903 now and end the strike. The open letter was released prior to the University's refusal to budge during mediation on the weekend of June 2-3.
The letter expresses deep concern over the unilateral and unproductive approach taken by York's central administration and Board of Governors to the CUPE 3903 strike, saying it has had serious detrimental effects on learning, teaching, academic decision-making, and job security for a range of workers at York University.
The letter says the University central administration, the President and provost are refusing to bargain on major issues like job security. Instead of negotiating with CUPE 3903 and arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement, those in control of the University have dedicated their efforts to ending the strike without meaningful negotiations, forcing a ratification vote on CUPE members, attempting to discredit and blame the union for the disruption, and lobbying for back-to-work legislation.
The councils of five faculties, ten departments, and more than fifteen graduate and undergraduate student associations, passed motions of non-confidence in President Rhonda Lenton and York's Board of Governors chaired by Rick Waugh (Outsider note: former CEO of Scotiabank). The Faculty of Graduate Studies and the York Federation of Students also passed motions of non-confidence, which in sum indicates that an overwhelming majority of graduate and undergraduate students have no confidence in the present Administration.
The University's intransigence at mediation on June 2 tramples on the dignity of striking employees and their rights. The entire York University community stands united with CUPE 3903 in its efforts to reach a just settlement.