York University strike could begin on Monday

Published On March 2, 2018 | By Christina Cummins | News

A strike could begin as soon as Monday if union members reject York University’s latest offer. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

 Chihiro Miya

All contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants at York University will walk the picket line on Monday if the administration doesn’t meet their demands for a contract.

They are members of Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903) and their contract expired on Aug 31, 2017.

courtesy of CP24


York University said on its website that teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants have the best total compensation package, including a wage increase, childcare funds, subsidies and health benefits.

The university also said, “We think this is a fair offer.”

“We continue to believe that there is no need for a strike,” said York University at the end of statement.

“We have been and continue to be fully committed to reaching a collective agreement and to supporting our contract colleagues to the best of our ability within the constraints that we all operate under at York and in the system.”

However, CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn told CP24, “60 per cent of the classes are instructed by our members, people who are contract faculty and teaching assistants, and this contract would make their jobs more precarious. That would impact education negatively.”

“They have a weekend to deal with this. They need to come to the table, they need to remove their concessions and they need to listen to those people who instruct 60 per cent of the classes.”

The Osgoode Hall Law Union also tweeted in support of CUPE.

“Despite York University’s interim provost Lisa Phillips’ statement that the University will remain open in the event of a strike on Monday, March 5, 2018, no official decision has been made.”

Rally for a contract deal

The education workers rallied for a fair deal on Feb. 27 with campus and community allies in the York University’s Vari Hall.

The negotiations that began since January were ended on Thursday.

With a strike deadline on Mar. 5, CUPE 3903 began voting at 11:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

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