Department of Geography Statement on the CUPE 3903 Strike
In response to the CUPE 3903 strike, the Department of Geography devoted a faculty meeting on 9 March 2018 to discussion of the strike.
In light of the Senate Executive’s determination not to suspend courses university-wide, the decision to suspend or continue teaching, according to York University Senate Policy, has fallen to individual faculty members. Accordingly, some faculty members in the Department of Geography have decided to suspend their courses while others have decided to continue teaching. These decisions were based on each course director’s individual, professional assessment of whether or not the academic integrity of their courses is compromised. The loss of CUPE-represented instructors who are integral to the successful delivery of many courses is of particular concern to the department. As a result, some individual course directors have decided to suspend many courses involving TAs for the duration of the strike. The Department of Geography fully endorses all of these decisions.
The Department of Geography supports our CUPE colleagues and recognizes their right to collectively bargain with the Employer, and when necessary to strike. We support, moreover, our students’ rights, under York University Senate Policy, not to participate in academic activities including their right to refuse crossing a virtual or actual picket line, without being penalized for such absence from academic activity for whatever reason.
The Department of Geography calls upon both CUPE and the Employer to continue to work towards a settlement that will end this strike as soon as possible.
The Department of Geography is firmly committed to fulfilling all course remediation plans once the strike is over. It also affirms the expectation that students are entitled to accurate, regular, and timely communication from their instructors regarding the status of their course(s) throughout this labour
disruption and any remediation or adjustments thereafter.
Finally, the Department of Geography believes that academic integrity and academic excellence at York University rest on the pedagogy developed and practiced by its fulltime faculty, contract faculty, and Unit 1s in lectures, tutorials, labs, and seminars. In the Department of Geography we are all proud of the work we do in the classroom that is complemented by the efforts of our staff.
With thanks to our history colleagues since this statement draws heavily on the “Department of History Statement on the CUPE 3903 Strike.”