Strike at York: a labour dispute toolkit

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903, which represents teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants at York University, was on strike as of 12:01am this morning. Picket lines were expected to be set up at entrances to the Keele and Glendon campuses early today.

Academic activities, including classes and exams, have been suspended for the duration of the strike, with some exceptions. For full details students and others should go to the York Secretariat Labour Disruptions Information page.

The University is open and employees not represented by CUPE Local 3903 are required to come to work.

Public transit services will still be available. However, bus stops will be at designated areas outside picket lines. For more information and a map of bus stops, see the Transportation Services Web site. The Keele-Glendon shuttle will continue to operate.

Information and regular updates will be posted on the York home page internal home pageFaculty & Staff page and Current Students page, and in  YFile, Ylife and the My student portal. A series of FAQs and information pages is listed below.

It is important to remember that the picketers are members of the York community. They are engaged in a lawful labour dispute with the University. This is a legal strike and it will result in delays and inconvenience.

In a strike, picketers are legally permitted to:

  • Carry signs stating the nature of the dispute;
  • Speak to you about their concerns;
  • Ask you to join the picket line.

Picketers are not legally permitted to:

  • Blockade entrances to the University;
  • Use force, threats or threatening gestures;
  • Construct physical barriers to block access to the University;
  • Engage in unlawful behaviour.

Points to remember when approaching the picket line:

  • Safety is important. Approach the picket line slowly. If you are driving, plan your approach to the University so that you can make a right turn onto the campus. This will prevent you from being caught in the middle of an intersection in case of delays;
  • Whether driving, walking or biking onto campus, be prepared to stop and wait until you can cross through the picket line;
  • Be prepared for delays and remember to keep your calm. It is important to operate your vehicle in a safe and lawful fashion.
  • You should not engage in any confrontation with picketers. If you are not allowed through the picket line, or if you feel threatened, do not attempt to force your way in, immediately withdraw. Do not become involved in any arguments or any type of altercation.

In the event that despite your best efforts you are unable to proceed to your place of work because of the picketing activity, you must immediately contact your manager and contact the Strike Hotline at 416-650-8420.

If you are intimidated, harassed or otherwise mistreated, inform your manager immediately of the time, place and people involved, and steps will be taken to communicate directly to the union and its members that such activity is not lawful or appropriate.  If you are concerned for your health and safety, please contact your manager immediately.

Should you have any other concerns or should any issues arise during the work disruption, immediately contact your manager.

Strike information toolkit