In response to the CUPE 3903 strike, the Department of History convened an emergency meeting on 5 March 2018. A consensus was reached that 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 fulltime faculty members. Some faculty members in the Department of History have decided to suspend their courses while others have decided to continue teaching. These decisions were based on the course director’s individual, professional assessment of the circumstances. Those faculty members who have decided to suspend their classes have done so only after determining that the academic integrity of their courses would be compromised. Moreover, the loss of CUPE-represented instructors who are integral to the successful delivery of their courses is of particular concern to the department. As a result, individual instructors have decided to suspend all courses involving TAs for the duration of the strike. The Department of History fully endorses all of these decisions.
The Department of History supports our CUPE colleagues and recognizes their right to collectively bargain with the Employer, and when necessary to strike, a right enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms according to the Supreme Court of Canada. 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 History 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 History 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 History 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, including a system in which undergraduates obtain their education through a combination of lectures, tutorials and seminars. In the Department of History we are all proud of the work we do in the classroom, work that is shared by all our instructors and that is complemented by the efforts of our staff.