We are a group of Osgoode Hall Law School alumni writing to you in regards to the CUPE 3903 strike at York University. We wish to address both the administration and students in voicing our support for CUPE 3903 and the law students who are refusing to cross the picket lines in solidarity.
Our Message to the Administration of Osgoode Hall Law School
Why we support CUPE 3903 and Osgoode Hall Law students who refuse to cross the picket lines
The members of CUPE 3903 are exercising their constitutionally-protected rights to strike and bargain. Both of these are hard-fought rights which were only achieved through the hard work of lawyers and labour activists working together on picket lines and in the courts. It is not enough for the legal community to achieve these rights on paper—we must demonstrate our support for workers to actually exercise these rights in a meaningful way.
Further, we support CUPE 3903 in their demands for affordable education, fair compensation, and LGBTQ+ equity. The members of CUPE 3903 are demanding justice, fairness, and fighting against discrimination. These are all things which we, as part of the legal community, hold amongst our highest values and we support them in this struggle.
We fully support all Osgoode Hall students who are refusing to cross the picket lines in solidarity with CUPE 3903. We are aware that some students have expressed a desire to return to classes and have now done so. They mention student debt, high tuition fees, and precarious employment prospects as reasons why they must return. However, these are exactly the reasons why the members of CUPE 3903 are on strike.
We recognize that the decision to respect the picket line and to decline to return to class was a difficult decision for some students, especially as many law students and recently-called lawyers are affected by the same injustices to which the strike can be attributed. Their decision has shown courage. Law is a profession which values community service, justice, equality, and at times, selflessness. By refusing to cross the picket lines, these law students have taken the first of many steps in practicing a profession which will frequently require them to prioritize justice. We will be proud to have them join us as fellow lawyers in the near future. Continue reading