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strike YUFA
CUPE day 30
YUFA solidarity bulletin no. 20
24 November 2000
In this issue:
1. Week five: 'It's time to ask, "Where's Lorna?"'
2. Night shift campus workers la dolce vita
3. Women's Studies faculty organise flying picket for Tuesday
1. WEEK FIVE: 'IT'S TIME TO ASK, "WHERE'S LORNA?"'
Surrounded by empty classrooms, 400 students, faculty, and staff gathered
today in the Vari Hall Rotunda for a rally, addressing the leadership and
contractual issues raised by the strike.
Andrea O'Reilly (Atkinson Women's Studies), holding up the YUFA banner in
the audience, expressed why many YUFA members were in attendance: "People
are gathered here to force the Administration to deal with and end the
strike. York's is a leading union and their demise would be a huge hit to
unions across Ontario. It's important that all the unions are represented
here. YUFA has to get out on the line to support CUPE, because it's our
turn next."
Speakers and audience members alike questioned Lorna Marsden's leadership.
Yasmin, an undergraduate who had attended the administration-sponsored
forum for students earlier this week, told the rally that students had
been disappointed when administrators dismissed questions about
negotiations issues and the strike's impact as "not appropriate".
David McNally (Arts Political Science) recounted how Lorna Marsden had
failed to respond to YUFA members: "33 professors in Political Science
wrote to Lorna Marsden weeks ago and had no response. Then 271 YUFA
members wrote to her, and again, no response. Last week the faculty
association voted unanimously to ask Lorna Marsden to meet with us. After
days of calling her for her answer, we finally heard that she was refusing
to come. I think it's time to ask: Where's Lorna? "
The crowd responded by calling out, "Lorna? Lorna? Lorna?" and waving
"Where's Lorna?" picket signs.
"As a faculty member, I'm absolutely fed up with being put into an
impossible position," Doug Davis (Film & Video) told the Solidarity
Bulletin.
"I sympathize with the strikers. No matter what I do I'm betraying
someone, either my students if I were to disadvantage those who are
absent, graduate students if I cross their picket lines, or my employer
because I'm being paid to teach. The administration's pretending to be
running a university, but I don't know what they're actually running here.
A factory? I have to ask myself: am I too old for this? I look at what
I've been doing for the last thirty years and I hear the administration
saying: your idea of a university doesn't matter."
A pair of comic performances underscored his questions. Undergraduate
theatre students contrasted their experiences of assembly-line education -
"tuition, time, stress, work..." - to York's manufactured image of
"excellence, innovation, creativity, community".
In CUPE 3903's performance, a Lorna Marsden puppet chased a jumbo Pepsi
bottle to tied a fishing rod.
The importance and justice of CUPE's fight to maintain tuition indexation
and job security were also hot topics.
O'Reilly pointed out that "these students aren't even in this for
themselves, because the administration's offer would grandfather their
tuition indexation. They're here for their younger brothers and sisters."
"I support the contract faculty's demand for increased job security," said
David Mason (Education). "We have fantastic contract faculty here and I'm
worried for their future. They need better pay for what they do. I'm
thinking of one person in particular who is a single mother in a difficult
situation. If the strike isn't settled soon, I'll have a problem sleeping
for a long time."
Jim Streb, of YUSA, told a cheering audience: "I dream of a time when
students, many of whom are earning less than $10 000 a year, don't have to
walk in the cold and the rain to convince someone making a quarter of a
million dollars that they should have a living wage."
2. NIGHT SHIFT CAMPUS WORKERS LA DOLCE VITA
The YUFA Solidarity Bulletin interviews three night shift workers at York:
"Ai, they want to make the university private. Only one or two professors,
no TAs, no students, just the ladies in the office and nobody else is
here. For us, now, cleaning is an easy job." (Caretaker, CUPE 1356)
"I have maybe a quarter to a third of the work nights and in those courses
there's only a fraction of the students. We talk amongst ourselves in ITC.
Vari, Curtis, and the colleges are the slowest ones; Schulich's the same
as always. Everybody's enjoying the light workload, though we're not
exactly happy because they did close the grad lounge. I walk in from
Sentinel now - I used to take the bus all t...

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