March 11, 2018
Left History statement in support of CUPE 3903:
As many of our subscribers likely know, CUPE 3903, the union representing York University contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants, is currently on strike. York is trying to force concessionary contracts on union members, who conduct 60% of the teaching done at the university. These contracts would increase job precarity and threaten graduate student funding. They also fail to address worker demands around accessibility, equity, and support for survivors of sexual violence.
All staff editors of Left History either are or have been members of CUPE 3903, and have experienced academic job precarity in its various forms. We stand in solidarity with CUPE 3903, and support its demands for a fair and equitable collective agreement. We also stand with education workers engaged in similar struggles, both in Canada and internationally. This includes CUPE 2424 at Carleton University, UCU in the United Kingdom, and teachers in both West Virginia and Oklahoma. These struggles highlight the ongoing importance of critiques from left scholars of precarity in educational labour.
Left History is not affiliated with the York administration or CUPE 3903, and so the editors have decided not to halt operations for the duration of the strike. However, Left History relies on York University facilities for many of our operations, so to avoid crossing picket lines, certain processes will run slower than usual (particularly mailing). We thank our subscribers and contributors for their understanding.
Left History is excited to announce a recent leadership transition. Dr. Boyd Cothran has completed his tenure as Editor-in-Chief. We wish him luck and thank him for his guidance and dedication.
Left History would like to welcome our new Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Athanasios (Sakis) Gekas. Dr. Gekas is an Associate Professor of History in the Department of History at York University specializing in Modern Greek and Mediterranean History. Sakis is also the coordinator of the Hellenic Studies Program, Department of Humanities at York University. He obtained his MA (Social History) and Ph.D (History) from the University of Essex and his BA (History) from Ionian University, Corfu. His research interests include the history of British colonialism in the Mediterranean, the economic and social history of the Ionian Islands and the Greek State and the history of Greek migration and diaspora in Canada. Sakis recently published his book: “Xenocracy. State, Class and Colonialism in the Ionian Islands, 1815-1864”, Berghahn (2017).