Graffiti on the walls of the Ross Building
The 2017-18 year was a whirlwind for the York University graduate students’ community.
CUPE 3903—representing TAs, GAs and contract faculty—endured the longest strike in the post-secondary sector in Canadian history. Instead of bargaining in good faith, York administration avoided any meaningful engagement and advocated for a back-to-work legislation (passed by the Conservatives on July 25).
On April 30, 2018, the YUGSA Council unanimously passed a motion of non-confidence in the senior administration of York University and in the Board of Governors. If York administration takes the same hard line as it has with CUPE 3903, the upcoming year could be marked by ongoing labour disputes that disrupt our teaching and learning conditions.
Beyond the strike, we will continue to rise in solidarity with teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty, in the shared struggle to preserve job security and stable work opportunities.
Despite the hardship, the past year saw several great improvements and victories on campus, and beyond! The York University subway station is (finally) open, and YUGSA is working on improving graduate students’ spaces. Et al., the Faculty/Graduate Student Cafe & Pub is now open (located in Ross S166), and we are keen to invite you for events in this new space!
We have also made stronger connections between students, staff and faculty through our work in the York University Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA)—an alliance of student and labour unions at York University. This year, the CCA will focus on rectifying university governance, transit, and equity on campus.
We have made it to our 35th year as a student union, but we can’t move forward without you. We urge all graduate students to help build the YUGSA in the following ways:
• Become a councillor and come to our monthly council meetings.
• Join our Equity-Campaigns Committee.
• Join the Board of Directors of Et al. (E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to join and learn more)
• If your department/graduate program does not have a Departmental Graduate Students’ Association (DGSA), then you should start one.
• Tell us what you are interested in: events, community projects, surveys, etc.!