Sunday, January 25, 2009

McGuinty To York's Bargaining Team: "They Couldn't Get Me Free Delivery Of The Sunday Times."

With the Liberals set to legislate CUPE 3903 back to work, the process of evaluating this strike can begin. What did it accomplish? Well, the union proved that York is nothing if not accommodating: Although, starting on November 6, the school was officially closed, it was still possible to park at any of York's faculty lots for the bargain rate of $6/hour. At $25,000/year, that's about half of what York contract faculty make to work at the school. Which explains why Mamdou Shoukri's limousine was parked across five spots.

I think the university spent something like eleven days bargaining with the union. In eleven days, Barack Obama created the world, and rested on Thursday. But York couldn't hammer out a settlement.

But that isn't exactly true: They wouldn't hammer out a settlement. As part of some strange, penurious stance, they decided that they simply had no money to give to contract faculty. And, when the union said, "Fuck money, just give us job security," they decided that they didn't haven't much security to give, either. "We can't just be giving out job security," a York official told me. "What are people going to do? Work here?"

Obama was inaugurated during the York strike. Last Monday, as I exited a coffee shop, I was approached by a man selling waving an American flag. "Anything is possible," he shouted at me.

"A negotiated settlement at York?" I asked.

"Shit, man," he said. "It's just an expression."

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