With recent concerns and frustrations regarding the workplace environment, the York University Faculty Association (YUFA) called on an online strike mandate vote starting February 22, 2022 which will be ending today, February 28, 2022, at 4 p.m.
Since August 2021, York and YUFA have undergone several meetings discussing issues concerning the workplace, and have undergone proposals and bargaining to amend the current situation. Through an email sent out to members, YUFA indicates and proposes changes towards issues relating to equity, workload, privacy, research support, and retirement.
YUFA member, professor Jody Berland from the department of humanities, provides their insight on the gravity of this strike vote.
“It is important for students to know that while York is unfortunately known for frequent strikes — the food workers from the cafeterias and the contract teachers and teaching assistants in CUPE 3903 being two recent examples — YUFA has not called a strike for 25 years. The last time YUFA went on strike, many of York’s students weren’t born yet.
“At a membership meeting last week, YUFA members voted 92 per cent in favour of a strike mandate vote, which does not constitute a strike vote. Then YUFA Executive voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike vote,” Berland continues.
But what implications could this strike have on students? Berland says, “Faculty strikes never involve the loss of a term for students. It has never happened at York or at any other Canadian faculty strikers. Our professor will ensure that any back to work plans involve full remediation of courses for students.”
Why is the vote happening now?
“Our bargaining team is comprised of academics who do not really want to go on strike,” states Berland. “Professors have been without a contract since May, 2021. Our team has met with the administration’s bargaining team 17 times already, and their bargaining team took a unilaterally hard line on every single item up for negotiation.”
When reached for comment, York’s Deputy Spokesperson, Yanni Dagonas, referred Excalibur to the community updates regarding the YUFA Bargaining. The latest update on February 22, 2022 states that “at the most recent meeting on February 15, there were further discussion regarding compensation in relation to Bill 124 and both parties appear to have a clearer understanding of each other’s views as captured in the university’s subsequent correspondence to YUFA.”
“The university looks forward to continuing these discussions with the assistance of the mediator to reach an agreement that is compliant with the increases in compensation for faculty and librarian members permissible under Bill 124” the update continued.
This is a developing story as the vote will be ending today at 4 p.m.