Baseball Title Strike One: WEEK SIX

Strike One: The YUFA Grand Strike of 1997


 By now we had become old hands at striking and walking a picket line. One day, walking from my car to union headquarters for a meeting, Kyd, the Strike Organizer and I realized that something had dramatically changed within us and about us. Others felt it too. We no longer woke so often in the night, terrified. We no longer talked much about the hardships of the picket line. We stopped worrying about how long the strike would last. It was by now, just “what we do”. This was an element of a strike that we passed on to many others who would strike after us, especially in a lengthy strike. I visited the picketers at St. Thomas in Fredericton, with the CAUT Defense Flying Pickets, three different weeks in January when temperatures were below twenty-five degrees Centigrade. In week three, I told them our story, about how in the fourth week it gets easier and they had only to hold on for that time. I have heard others remark on this timing of events.

We did begin some discussions about what we would be doing in the future. Some of us decided to run for YUFA offices. Some, like me, made up our minds that although we had been active in university administration and politics at many levels, we would in future confine our energies to working for our union. It would be ten years after the strike before I took another administrative position, and then it was in my home faculty. I learned well the meaning of Joe Hill’s death-bed request: “Don’t mourn, organize”. And knew for my own self, that “those that they could never kill, went on to organize”.

Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 08:25:37 To: (A Student, Not My Own)
cc: YUFA-L
Subject: Re: Two Busses, Two Crossings Most of us write in the union information flyer that you received crossing the lines today in order to share ideas and get people to think about different aspects of the strike. I am glad that my letter got you thinking. This is what the concept of the university, that your faculty is fighting to reclaim, is all about.

If you are waiting for my apology for being out on a legal strike to ensure that future students have a decent university to attend, you can start looking for it around about the time that the gates of hell begin to freeze, but even then, I would not count on it.


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 08:37:34
Subject: Thanks, YUFA Leadership

Thank you Sylvia, for your supportive comments. Some people can’t understand why I am so adamant about my own physical presence on the picket line. Part of it is due to a need for penance (I spent my sabbatical year in a very Catholic town) over the fact that I too, for the last 17 years, whenever asked, begged, pleaded to by YUFA, always found some reason why I could not help out, maybe next year.

Well, “next year” is here. I support the Union Executive and Negotiating Committee because I genuinely believe they are fighting the fight that needs to be fought but I would suggest that even if I totally disagreed with them, given my heroic record of past participation in YUFA, I would be obliged to support them simply because I did nothing whatsoever to help formulate the stands we are now taking.


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:00:41
Subject: Re: the Glorious Mougeon Picket on Sentinel

We could not have held the important Atkinson meeting and also held the Sentinel Gate without the spirited and selfless participation of the Glorious Mougeon Picket line who left their own beloved gate and came to help cover Sentinel Road while many of us were at the Meeting. As the incoming afternoon Shift Captain, my reports were that all went extremely well, and that even more camaraderie was established as more of us got to see each other’s gates and their techniques and safety measures. Our thanks to the Mougeon Line.

Atkinson meeting was a marvel of YUFA solidarity. Julia Cohen started the meeting by announcing that Strike Manual policies strongly discourage meetings between union members and administration during the strike, and moved to adjourn. I seconded. The motion to adjourn is, wonderfully, not debatable. The question was put, and almost every hand in the room (of a library basement on Finch) went up. The administrators cleared out. We reconstituted as a YUFA meeting. We invited the Dean to address us informally. After he left, we had a general meeting with lots of good ideas, and the Union Executive taking notes.

A bit of humour – with so many of us walking the lines regularly, seeing us in the library with long sleeves and only our faces and hands showing, we had such sun tans you’d have mistaken us for a group just returned from a sun spot vacation!


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:14:54
Subject: Re: Hallstrom

Well spoken, Jeanne. I think you are right that part of Hallstrom’s problem is that he doesn’t understand that those of us on the picket lines see YUFA no longer as an external body determining our actions. One of the real lessons of this strike is that YUFA is us. I for one resent being thought of as a “pawn of the YUFA Executive,” and I agree that the Executive does listen to us. One answer to the problem is to just not write him back. After all, think of how much more time and energy he has than we do, since he is not walking the lines. Do we really need to spend what time and energy we do have participating in his discussions?

I admire your stamina (time on your note was 3:02 a.m.). I too was at the candlelight vigil and came home exhilarated but exhausted.


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 17:09:06
To: Jane Daniels
Subject: Strike Pay, Next Round

Jane, my time sheet for today may look dishonest, and I wish to note here what happened. Today, the late afternoon shift at Sentinel was desperately short of people. Those who were out with me walked in one lane, with only tiny pylons and the purple Strike Security Vehicle holding down the second lane. Due to a visit by the head of York Security and to my unwillingness to alienate him because he’s a decent sort, I had to back the Strike Security Vehicle out of the road. My people still stood with me in the busy traffic. It started to rain. Still my people stood with me in the rushing traffic. We had had no coffee for hours; for some reason the truck did not come. Still my people stood with me in the dangerous traffic. We gave up several people to go to the important “Flying Demonstration” at Senate Executive (named to honour the national CAUT Flying Picket that comes to visit universities on strike). Horatio even left his own car in the outside lane of traffic to try to protect us; we had wised up by then and explained to Security that his car had stalled. Still my people stood with me in increasingly angry traffic and cold drenching rain.

Finally, at about 3:45, I took it upon myself to call the line for the day, and I signed out everyone standing there with me as there until 5:00 p.m. (these are in pencil). I am asking YUFA to support my request for full-time credit for what today was truly “hazardous duty” pay for the late afternoon Sentinel Road shift.


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 17:48:31
Subject: Money, Jobs & Warm Offices

I agree with Lefty. Many of us have believed for some time that the administration is just stalling until we see our first reduced pay envelopes. First they thought we wouldn’t get a strong strike vote, then they thought we wouldn’t go out, then they thought we wouldn’t last more than a week. I especially like Lefty’s question for colleagues who have “slunk back onto the payroll”: What price short-term income?

Let me mention for anyone who might mistake me for the gal who works for pin money while her husband heads up Calvin Klein, that I am the sole support of my family. Let’s keep our morale up and our expenses down. I think it’s great that our first strike pay-day falls on the day we meet our students.

I talked with a friend from traditional industry the other day, and he just scoffed when I moaned about the administration stalling for so long. Of course they’re going to stall, he said. It’s all part of their strategy; they have warm offices, pay cheques, and jobs. They will stall all they can to try to break your spirit. The secret is not to let them break you.

Union workers, stand together
Victory for you prevails
Keep your hand upon the dollar
And your eye upon the scale

That last line referred to the scale that the operators used to weigh the miner’s haul for the day; we can re-interpret it to mean the scales of equity, as in Equity Now!

In solidarity, and eating leftover meatloaf tonight.


Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 18:49:32
Subject: Equity Now/Money

I was as shocked as anyone to find out that the average YUFA woman is paid $13,500 less than the average YUFA man. I liked Jessica Armand’s comment that the women who over their length of work at York will in essence donate $100,000 to York should get a plaque somewhere. And then of course we have the huge inequalities between programmes where a Humanities professor might make $30,000 while a Business School professor is earning $100,000 and more. Equity Now!


Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 16:48:50
To: Preston Gallagher
Subject: Help! I Want to Help!

Preston, I need some help here. I can answer Harvey and others; I know exactly what went on at Senate Executive with the Whistlers and why and what the meaning and deeper meaning behind it was, and I fully support it. But I don’t want to just start yammering, and I don’t want to make the issue worse. Lucy Elliott spoke eloquently to us about this several hours before we did it. Lucy’s interpretation of Betty as someone who feeds off others’ anger and upset fits so well and explains a lot.

I believe we did the right thing at Senate Executive. But I read a lot of upset YUFA members who may be upset partly because they think that it’s just a bunch of radicals roaring out of control. Lucy will tell you why it’s not official YUFA policy, but also isn’t against YUFA policy. I agree with this tactic as well.

What it really is, is a growing group (not just women) who want to do more. I heard the phrase today: “Escalate, Don’t Arbitrate.” Strikers are angry, Preston, and while there is a strong cadre of professors who still think that we should be quiet and polite and austere, there is a growing number who, like me, are looking enviously at 3-foot wrenches, and razor blades to stick in our boot tips.

Shall I try to draft a response and send it to you first? Let me know. I will not write till I hear from you, or someone else on Executive, but I think we need a response which outlines why some of these things are happening, and perhaps suggesting that more needs to happen.

Many of us were bitterly disappointed that we were not able to do a damn thing about the busloads of music people who came for a week long music fest at York. The TTC does not cross our lines, why should they? We also heard that York was rented out last weekend to a movie filming. Preston, these are union members; they shouldn’t be crossing our lines. We need more solidarity. We need some teamsters. We need the CAW (I know they are already bringing firewood; I want them on the lines with us). We need the coal miners. I personally want the Coal Miners’ Union marching with me on the Sentinel late afternoon shift, and I want the Men of the Deeps to come and sing to us. We need more help from more unions; we need to escalate the battle.

You know how I hate people who say to YUFA, “Please do this.” What can I do to help facilitate this? What can my husband do? He said today he feels so helpless. He is just dynamite on the computer. He can contact union web pages. I just don’t want to do something without the union’s approval. But at the same time, I understand that YUFA simply doesn’t have the time to plan everything and can’t approve everything, as Lucy said. Hence my suggestion that I write, and send it to you before sending it out. Hear my voice here; know that there are many many more than just me. Let me know what I can do.


Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 18:02:37
To: Jeffrey Derrick
Subject: Re: YUFA Solidarity and Senate Executive

Hi Jeffrey, I write privately. I will soon write publicly to try to explain part of what was and is going on with the demonstration at Senate Executive.

Regarding someone saying, “Beat It,” to a fellow striker, all I can say is that it was inappropriate but people do get carried away. The day that Senate Executive passed the “<35%” rule that we proposed trying to help the students, a once friendly YUFA member of Senate Executive after the meeting inappropriately called me a “strikebreaker.” Me? Jeffrey? Me? I could have cried. She has since apologized, and I have forgiven it. But these things are going to happen. The important point is that many faculty are getting angry, and want to do more. When we try to do it, there may be difficult situations. But we are all still on the same side.

On a different matter: I talked to Rachel Abbott today, and she gave me "permission" to write to you on the matter of your arrest. My first husband was a conscientious objector in the Vietnam War. He refused, and we waited 11 months till the FBI called him and asked him to drive the 60 miles from Mt. Carroll Illinois to Rockford to be arrested! He finally obtained a suspended sentence, but Jeffrey, it was one of the most traumatic years I have lived through. And, we had to leave Mt. Carroll, where I held a teaching job, and move to Chicago for his assignment, and where by then there were no more teaching jobs, hence my start in the business world.

All I wanted to say, and I cried when I told Carol, is that my heart is with you Jeffrey; I know something of what you are going through. I also want you to know that I will be the first person at YUFA passing the hat to get you some support. Way back then (1968) we had friends who held a fundraiser dance to ease the $1400 retainer fee for my husband. You have friends in YUFA. I am one of many.

p.s. Jeffrey, I just read my letter to you to my (current) husband, Bert Christensen, who is the son of a founder of the CCF (one of the major socialist parties). His response was that if it were someone driving a car like his (a 1986 Chevette) no one would ever have laid charges. All that matters is the owners of the Jaguars. This is a class struggle.


We strengthened our roles as YUFA union members. Hardly anyone used the non-committal term, association”. A group of committed strikers closed down Senate Executive with a rip-roaring whistle-blowing protest march. There are times when the membership may take action without necessarily “getting permission” from higher ups in the union. Especially women: as Jeanne points out, women today are tired of having to have all our actions validated by men in charge.

We began to focus on those events in the future that we could determine. There was great objection to taking a poor settlement in order to preserve the summer session.

Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 19:40:42
To: Dale Adams (Associate Dean)
Subject: Re: (Fwd) Meeting of Senate Executive

Robert Edwards in his role as President of YUFA had no knowledge of this demonstration, nor would it have been appropriate for him to intervene. YUFA is speaking. Try to listen. This is not rabble. These are your colleagues.


Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 19:51:38
To: Karl Knight
Subject: Re: Senate Meeting

So glad you went to your conference; I think we have to maintain what we can of normality. Tomorrow I take off to go to a grandchild’s birthday party. Thanks for your good words of support. Yes, I agree that we need to keep the strike out of Senate, not only to take the high ground but because the administration does seem so often to be able to use it as a weapon against us.

It turned out not as bad as I worried. a student activist, told me today that many students she talked to were saying that YUFA had given them this gift (opt out of exams worth less than 35%) because obviously it cost them something in bargaining power, and they were deeply appreciative. Sometimes we make mistakes, and we just have to pick up and move on. Thanks for your kind words.


Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 20:08:21
Subject: Re: Public Reaction to the Strike

To Lucia Beacon’s story of the woman in her apartment who looked at her picket button and said that she cried after reading how badly teachers are being treated, I’ll add my own.

Many of you know my love of the big trucks (my picket “costume” is actually the clothes I wear on my Marketing Channels of Distribution research projects). Just after parking behind YUFA Picket Headquarters this morning, I spotted an 18-wheeler backing into a loading dock. I watched him execute a perfect landing, then I walked to the window and congratulated him (I can’t resist; I’ve done this myself). He stepped out of his truck, noted my picket badge, pin, and sign, and proceeded to tell me how badly he felt about the strike and the fact that from what he hears, the management just didn’t seem to want even to talk with us. He wished us his best.


Date: Sat, 26 Apr 1997 19:01:14
Subject: Re: YUFA Solidarity and Senate Executive

I’ve been trying not to write too often; I know some of us talk too much, but I must write in support of Jeanne’s note. I walked with the group of women at the Rosedale house of Hannah Grissel, the incoming President of York, and I was part of the group that planned the Whistlers’ demonstration at Senate Executive.

There are times when you have to let the general membership do things that they feel they need to do. The demonstration at Senate Executive was not done “with YUFA Executive’s permission.” But nor was it done against the wishes of YUFA Executive. It was not a demonstration that our union is falling apart; it is a demonstration that people within our union are all doing what they need to do to get our point across. This is what is supposed to be happening, according to “experts.” We are having to adjust every day and every hour to what we ought to be doing. We try new things. We push new boundaries. For Robert Edwards to have stood up in Senate Executive and tried to stop this would not have been proper.

We don’t all do everything in the same way, and we don’t all do everything perfectly. We all feel badly that someone said an unkind phrase to a fellow YUFA member at that demonstration, but these things happen. The day that I unwittingly helped the students from Senate Executive to get their “<35%” rule passed, a good and long time YUFA friend called me a strikebreaker. She has since apologized, and I have forgiven. These things happen. I hope that whoever yelled at Eugene Myers (and ?) will apologize to them. But please do not think that one wrong slip of the tongue means we are not united.

Jeanne also says that there are times “when women just do not feel the need to have all of their activities validated by those in authority.” Having served as Chair of the University Senate with a male President and under the tutelage of all the men who run Senate, I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is to remember this.

I also cannot say strongly enough how moved I have been by the numbers of male colleagues who said of the candlelight vigil in front of Hannah Grissel’s home, “We felt left out; we want to join you,” and that in this Whistlers’ Protest they have joined us. We are all in this together. Those of you who read YUFA-L will recognize that not all of us agree with each other on every issue. But we are still all working for the same cause. Remember that this is true of demonstrations as well as of our writing.

It will be a long time before I forget that long angry face of Hannah Grissel neighing at us to not trample her rosebushes as we stood at her doorstep to plead with her to help in ending the strike. Especially poignant as we had been walking in circles in the street before her house singing “Bread and Roses.” It was a good thing for us to have done.


Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 12:31:44
Subject: Strike Must Settle First

You have asked for the personal reaction of some YUFA members on Senate Executive to Gus Barlow’s Summer School Proposals. I cannot deny that I also speak as a striking union-supporting YUFA-Senator. Here are my personal reactions:

We would be crazy to allow any summer session whatsoever to proceed before we have a fair settlement.

I personally would love to see the contract faculty union, if they could manage it, I know how supportive they’ve been and this intends no criticism of them, but if they could say, no, we won’t teach the summer courses. I’d like to see word put out so that no union member anywhere in the world would come and teach our summer courses. Likewise, I would like to see every union on York campus also walk out with us.

I’d like to see every York faculty member who has not yet come out with us come out and augment the picket lines. It certainly would be my sincerest wish that no York professor would teach this summer. Period. I assume that the wonderful students in the student union and the graduate students’ group would continue to be there with us, and every one of them would come out on the picket lines. Then I’d like to see the picket lines made so strong that no one attempting to get into the campus for any reason whatsoever, but particularly for the purpose of teaching summer courses, would be able to do so (with union-signed passes for care of plants and animals). If the administration were then to try to hold classes off-campus with scab labour, I would like to see every site found out and stopped with picketers.

I would like to have full support from every union in the country. Every university in the country and beyond who could possibly send people would send them to walk with us and augment our lines. I want the Canadian Auto Workers out at one gate. I’d like to see the Steel Workers supporting another gate. I’d like to see The Newspaper Guild, my father’s union, with whom I marched as a child in strikes in New York City, and with whom I marched at the Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream” march in Washington D.C., I’d like to see them at Sentinel Gate. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers could picket with us on another. I’d like to see the Musician’s Association picketing with us and entertaining us with their music. I want the coal miners’ union walking with us at the Sentinel Gate and I want the Men of the Deeps to come down from Cape Breton and sing for us their union songs that I play on my car radio.

This is my personal reaction to Gus Barlow’s summer school proposals.


Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 18:37:54
To: Katherine Cisneros
Subject: Re: Names

Katherine, I want a personal autographed copy of that article you’re writing on voice. I too have battled for years to be heard as a woman in a non-traditional field for women. I have sat in department meetings where we literally recreated the joke about, “That’s a great motion, Ms. Triggs; perhaps one of the men here would like to make it.” I now bang on the table and say, “Wait a minute, I said that ten minutes ago!” A former chair of the Department of Administrative Studies once interrupted me in the middle of a serious discussion about an upcoming decanal election when I was speaking to another man, to ask me, “Do you do your own hair?” I still tell this story in my gender issues class, and my students still gasp, and my stomach still turns over. I too have stood invisible as the men around me proceeded to live my life for me. I spent two years as Vice/ then Chair of Senate when Maurice Williams was President, and when the same men who now run Senate Executive and Senate (who also work for the BOG) ran Senate, and I have stood and said silently, “And who am I, chopped liver?” My god, no wonder you reacted as you did to my (and ?) I am doubly, triply, sorry.

We will meet after all this and have a coffee, or tea, or drink, or lunch, together. I have said that the one good thing to come out of this strike is that I have met enough wonderful colleagues to have coffee or lunch with and get me through my 15 years till retirement. I’m hanging in there; just barely; I try to keep up a good front, but underneath I cry a lot. Letters like yours do immeasurable good toward keeping my spirits up

I have enjoyed being bigger during the strike; I wear my six layers, topped with wool coat, my hard hat and my steel-toed boots, and I stand like men stand and take up more room and I feel good about it. I am reminded of a Far Side cartoon about a workshop for dogs where they were trying to teach the dogs that cats just look bigger by putting up their backs and their tails.


We became more skilled at organizing for Senate.

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 1997 18:56:26
Subject: URGENT!

I heard Preston Gallagher speak at the Friday meeting, and write to speak in his defense. He indeed did not speak about the summer session. I, however, am going to speak about the summer session.

I am using this space to ask you, yes you, the one right there, reading this message, to help out here. We cannot allow Gus Barlow to move that the summer session start on May 14 (15, 16, 17, whatever). We must defeat this motion. In its place, I am willing to move to vote not to support the summer session.

Those members of Senate Executive, please write me back immediately or sooner to let me know if a) you agree with me b) you are willing to second this. We cannot allow the summer session to proceed without a settlement of the strike. If I can start this at Senate Executive tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., I shall do so. If I am defeated there, I will bring it to Senate as a whole on Wednesday morning at the Montecasino Hotel.

We will need every YUFA-Senator there to vote in favour of it. I am going to say essentially the following, unless I hear some better words from YUFA-L folk, or if my 4:00 a.m. voice speaks more eloquently to me. Everyone reading this also needs to remember YUFA’s commitment to ensure that summer losses are spread across the university. Here stands my motion: I solicit comments, but make ‘em quick; it’s already Sunday evening.

“I move that Senate recommend that there shall not be a summer session prior to the settlement of this strike and that Senate therefore urges an expeditious resolution of this strike to avoid the great peril to which our students, our faculty, and the good name of York University will be subjected by the failure to conclude this struggle in a timely manner.”


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:10:01
To: Robert Edwards
cc: Kyd Carter
Subject: (Fwd: Re: Discussion About the Summer)

Robert, a fellow faculty member says she wrote to you asking you to consider special circumstances for Atkinson. I urge you, as a 17-year veteran of that faculty, and as one currently scheduled to teach one on-load course this summer and one for overload, do not make any such special considerations for Atkinson which will in any weaken the bargaining position of YUFA.

It is my personal opinion, and I spoke of it to every one of the seven gates that I visited this morning after Senate Executive, that if York mounts a summer session without full-time faculty, we might as well close down the goddam picket lines and go home.

We cannot lose this one. We must delay the summer session until a fair settlement is reached. Do not use these concerns as an excuse to weaken our union’s position.


Date: Mon, 28 Apr 1997 20:20:48
Subject: Thu. Disruption Heard Today

A personal note, not official, from me as a member of Senate Executive who attended the meeting this morning. I wish to personally thank the whistling protesters from last Thursday. It is my considered opinion that they were in large part responsible for what was an incredibly different Senate Executive meeting this morning, in which, even though we had a self-appointed member of the BOG chairing the meeting in the absence of Julian Brown and Marcia Peale, YUFA Senators had a fair hearing, the committee was watchful of its duty to direct to Senate and not to decide for Senate, and in which even Gus Barlow capitulated, even graciously, to a request regarding convocations.

Never underestimate the power of a small group of singing chanting people to get across a message that up until now was simply not getting across.
My warmest personal thanks.


We did still experience scab workers, camaraderie on the picket lines, and exciting if frustrating meetings of Senate.

Date: Mon, 28 April 1997 21:48:45
Subject: Public Relations

I have heard that our resident novelist and writer par excellence Bella Byrnes is working with YUFA to produce some of our materials. Many thanks, Betty!


Tue, 29 Apr 1997 08:49:46
To: Llona Behrens
Subject: GKN

I had no problem talking to you to tell you that I won’t be going to Hong Kong so you could plan for someone else to go, but please understand that I am joining the majority of my full-time York faculty colleagues in a legal strike, and I cannot do university work without breaking strike protocol. I cannot send you course outlines; I cannot decide what copyright to put on books; I cannot make any decisions or do any work related to the GKN Hong Kong venture until the strike is settled. If you are working on the project right now, you are strike-breaking.

I know that you believe you are doing what you feel you have to do, but one of the things that hurts most is that while I am walking the picket lines, living on $1400 a month strike pay to try to get fairer salaries for junior and especially female professors like yourself, you are continuing to cross the very picket lines that I walk every day.

Every professor who crosses our lines weakens the union’s cause and prolongs the strike. For me to help you in this work would make me a scab. I hope to god that when this is all over, we will all find a way to work together again.


Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 21:01:12
Subject: The Squashed Foot

Many of you will know of my good friend and colleague, Jake Granger, my military Colonel one-man-protection force on the Sentinel Gate picket line. Jake had his foot run over by a marauding car. I felt particularly bad because it was one of those afternoons when he was standing in as Picket Captain (Picket Colonel?) for me while I was off at some kind of meeting. While performing his duties, he noticed that a car was revving up its engine as if about to plunge through the picket line. He warned the picketers of the danger, and that they might have to move quickly. The driver accelerated rapidly and then screeched to a halt about three feet in front of him.

Jake walked to the driver’s side of the car, leaned in the window and quietly informed the guy that we were on legal strike, that he would be proceeding shortly, and that he (Jake) would appreciate the guy’s cooperation in operating his car in a safe manner so that no one would get hurt. The driver averted eye contact, and grunted. No more revving occurred, so Jake moved to the left of the car. After Jake gave the directive to clear the line, the guy veered his car towards Jake and ran over the edge of his right foot as he planted it to jump clear. He then sped off up Sentinel Road onto the campus. Jake had rolled over to the curb in moving out of his path, and someone from the picket lines got the license number. Colonel Jake watched for the car the remainder of his twelve hours on duty, but he did not come out by our entrance.

Bravely defended, Jake. I am glad you were at least wearing your army combat boots so that he did not break any bones, and I congratulate you on your quick thinking and reacting. But I still feel bad that this happened when you were standing my watch for me.


Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 21:10:13
Subject: Tomorrow’s Senate Meeting

Here is the motion being brought forward to Senate by Senate Executive on Wednesday, April 30:

“That the undergraduate summer term of 1997 start on May 14, 1997, provided the labour dispute is settled by that date, and on the understanding that students would receive a full fee refund for courses which do not proceed.”

Failing this, we move to make the same amendment with the date, May 21, 1997.
Failing this, we move to refer the motion back until the strike is settled.

Herb and I will not be moving these motions. It was suggested, rightly we felt, that we were too associated with the last Senate meeting. I am seeking a mover and a seconder; I have written one, but if I don’t hear back by tonight, may be calling on you tomorrow morning.

Get there early and sit together
Make it clear that administration decided to postpone convocation, not us
Keep Senate calm, and productive

This strike is about collegial governance. There are serious issues behind starting the summer session while the full-time faculty/librarian union is still on strike:


Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 18:44:28
To: Helga Nicholas
Subject: Re: Your Role at Senate Today

We did ourselves proud. There was a whole lot of organization and preparation that went into how well things ran today; I just was the visible tip of the iceberg. But that said, thank you so much for your note.

My favourite part of the day was that my husband got to see it. It is our fifteenth anniversary today, and we had tickets for the Royal Alex and plans for dinner, so he came with me; we thought we would finish at Senate and drive on downtown. Well, we never got downtown and never saw the play, but I shall remember with pride that I spent my fifteenth anniversary with my husband at the Senate meeting at which YUFA showed the administration what we’re made of. I realize too that if I had not been there, we would have lost by one vote instead of tying it.
Thanks so much for writing.


Date: Wed 30 Apr 1997 18:50:28
To: Kyd Carter
Subject: We Held Them Off

You had asked for my statement at the Senate meeting where we delayed the start of summer school; here it is:

I am a YUFA member on strike. I teach on load in the summer. I cannot imagine summer school NOT going forward. This is not a motion to adjourn with no future date. My colleague from the contract faculty union has asked only for four days to give both sides time to talk. We can still start summer school on May 14. We can start it on May 21 if we need to. Please vote to adjourn this meeting until Wednesday. We have a chance to end this strike.


Date: Wed, 30 Apr 1997 19:45:29
To: Rachel Abbott
Subject: Senate Today

Indeed, it was a great day at Senate. I was so touched by your giving me the little good luck stone medallion to carry during the meeting. At first I felt bad that I broke it, holding on to it so hard during the vote, but then I decided that it carries the remembrance of this day in its two pieces. It is a good band of strikers we are with.


What Did We Learn in Week Six? (The Future)

1. We can go on, as long as it takes.
2. There is always the future to think about, providing it is in constructive ways.
3. Think and talk in constructive ways.
4. Union members have a tremendous power, both with the guidance of union officials and on our own.
5. Many things in a strike will always be there, including scabs and detractors but also supportive colleagues and capable union executive officers.