Thursday, November 13, 2008

What’s up with binding arbitration?!!!

... and what is York’s real position?

York University continues to focus on binding arbitration as if it’s in the best interests of students and everybody …. But is this true?

In past statements on binding arbitration, York U representatives have said:
“[B]inding arbitration risks handing over the future of the institution to a third party who cannot possibly appreciate the subtleties and complexities of a university such as York.”[1]

“Arbitration is not a solution to the difficult issues that divide us. It effectively acknowledges the incapacity of the parties to reach what is needed - a mutually agreed upon settlement - and substitutes a decision that neither party owns.”[2]

“Arbitration, in effect, places the academic future of York in the hands of an individual who has no continuing interest in, or commitment to, the University. The administration does not consider this to be a responsible way of resolving the dispute.”[3]

So why exactly is the University reversing its official position on binding arbitration when it comes to negotiating with CUPE 3903?

Is CUPE 3903 unreasonable to refuse binding arbitration as a “solution?”

The administration itself has said that it “does not consider this to be a responsible way of resolving the dispute.” CUPE 3903 is NOT opposed to meeting with a third party negotiator. In fact, we have been in communication with a mediator appointed by the Ministry of Labour for over one month. The University’s continued calls for “binding arbitration” simply demonstrate their unwillingness to address the real issues and concerns of CUPE 3903.

Why haven’t the two sides met until now?

Mediation requires BOTH sides to negotiate. The University’s administration has wasted a valuable week of negotiating time by continuing to press for binding arbitration despite its OWN clear opposition to it in the past. Until today (Thurs. Nov. 13) they have refused to meet with CUPE 3903’s representatives and the government appointed negotiator to work out a settlement.

If York’s administration is as committed to students’ concerns as they claim to be, why have they waited an entire week to come back to the table?

Binding arbitration...
It was a bad idea then, and it’s a worse idea now.

[1][2][3] Quoted from the York University archive on past negotiations with the York University Faculty Association (YUFA). To see the original, click here.