After working on the brief from 10am to nearly midnight yesterday, I decided to go to sleep without learning the result of the latest CUPE 3902 ratification vote. I had a difficult time of it, experiencing the worst headache I can remember for almost the entire night. I found that putting pressure on one part of my right forehead helped slightly to alleviate it.
This morning, I was surprised to see that the latest tentative agreement had been rejected, despite significant efforts from the union administration to push it: with most of them arguing for acceptance at the last general meeting, emails from the union calling for members to vote yes, and even robocalls from CUPE 3902 local chair Erin Black urging members to vote yes.
The breakdown of the vote ended up as 992 in favour, 1101 opposed, 4 spoiled ballots, and 27 rejected ballots.
At least one member of the bargaining team said she would resign if this tentative agreement was rejected. We will see if any other personnel changes take place, as well as what sorts of escalation will be put to use this week.
This is a critical time period for the strike. As of now, it’s still possible to salvage a reasonably normal semester, if an agreement is reached soon. TAs can begin with the backlog of grading, perhaps replace some missed tutorials and labs, and be available for final exam inviligation and grading. If the strike goes on much longer, however, that option becomes less and less plausible and the possibility of the university invoking some sort of academic continuity policy to make TA labour unnecessary rises. The extension of the term into the ‘summer’ (which at U of T means ‘May’) also seems to become more plausible.
I am going to keep doing photographic work and picketing as much as I can, while still trying to get the brief update done before the ad hoc committee meets on the 27th…