I feel bad for the undergrads at York University: the strike continues
Since November 6, most undergraduate students at Toronto's York University have been suffering from a strike that has shut down the university. CUPE, the union involved, represents both Teaching Assistants (read: horribly underpaid grad students) and part-time professors. Presumably if no professors were in this union the university could have just kept on going without its TAs.
As the photo above suggests, I didn't go to York for my undergrad - but all Ontario CA students spend the month of June there at the School of Accountancy, where this photo was taken. It's a mix of small seminar-sized courses with 30 people or less, and a few larger lectures where SOA-wide announcements are made to all - generally right before or after the practice tests.
For CA students, I'm curious to know what effect this strike will have.on the SOA - will it still be at York University this year? Or if classes resume and get pushed back into the summer, will the venue of that august institution get shifted to another university that will actually be in summer mode - with presumably more empty classrooms?
I'm sure the staff responsible for booking facilities at Ryerson and the University of Toronto are salivating at the prospect of a lucrative new June source of income.
I would be a good little reporter and actually ask the ICAO to declare what their plan is, but without a resolution to the strike in place, I'm guessing the above theory is as good as any and no firm plans have been made until things simmer down.
Status of the strike itself: selected comments
I've learned to avoid reading the often silly and inflammatory comments on the Star's website when I want to avoid watching petty grudge matches, but the articles on the strike are worth checking out. You get to see the union mentality and that of people fed up with these strikes.
Good times. Oh wait, here's another good comment.
I sympathize with the plight of a TA to the extent that I would never want to be in their position - trying to support myself on their pay alone. "
And it's true - being located at the extreme fringe of Toronto's city limits, if you don't have a car the commute to the campus is killer - as a result the parking authority jab is well justified. These suggestions are fun to read and poke for fun - here comes a truly brilliant suggestion from a University of Windsor alumnus.
A quick and lazy search for articles about the strike didn't turn up any support, but if that's true, it's hilarious.
I hope that wasn't written by an English major. The following, on the other hand, was clearly written by someone who is a romantic idealist - and would be smacked silly with a sack of doorknobs if they tried to say it in a room full of angry students missing out on their education:
There's more than one person who calls it the "York University Corporation", as if calling it "corporate" means the administratin is "evil" and they're "fighting the man." Good luck with that angle.
Ouch, that's a little more harsh than what I was thinking.
The more I read about this sad state of affairs, the more this sounds like the PTA Disbands, the classic Simpsons episode. Bashing the academic integrity of the institution (I think the exhaust leak is linked to the low test scores), and otherwise just giving the university a bad name - it sounds more and more like Springfield Elementary.
Homer: Lousy teachers, trying to palm off our kids on us!
Lisa: But, Dad, by striking, they're trying to effect a change in
management so that they can be happier and more productive.
Homer: Lisa, if you don't like your job, you don't strike: you just go
in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American
Students at York's own Osgoode law school have a stronger administration
looking out for their interests, which didn't 'palm off' the students on their parents: they went back to school halfway into
the strike. The MBA program, naturally, is also unaffected. Big money brings better service.
When will the rest of the university recover? And are we setting ourselves up for a world of hurt in 2010?