CUPE 3903 wins historic deal, reaches tentative agreement with York University

TORONTO, March 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903), on legal strike since March 3, has reached a tentative agreement with York University. The deal was reached after a day-long bargaining session today, and was unanimously endorsed by the union's Bargaining Team.

Details of the agreement will soon be posted on the union's website: http://3903.cupe.ca. The union is now organizing a ratification vote to take place as soon as possible.

"Our members have won a truly historic deal," says Faiz Ahmed, chair of CUPE 3903. "For the first time in a collective agreement, we have directly negotiated a freeze and a reduction of tuition fees, putting pressure on universities everywhere to follow suit.

"And we struck a major blow against differential fees for international students, who have been exploited by Ontario universities to make up for shortfalls in provincial funding."

The union won major concessions from York on tuition indexation for current and future students, which guarantees that any increase in tuition fees will be matched dollar-for-dollar in graduate student funding. In addition, the union won a complete reversal of the last two years of fee increases for international students. Other significant gains include recognition of LGBT as an employment equity category and better funding for graduate and research assistants.

"This round of bargaining has always been about improving the quality of education of our students and of building a better York," adds Ahmed. "The strength and resolve of our members, who have led this strike for the last four weeks, made all the difference. This victory belongs to them, and to all York students who will benefit from improved teaching and learning conditions at the university."

CUPE 3903 represents 3,700 education workers at York University, including teaching assistants, contract faculty, graduate assistants, and research assistants. Contract faculty ratified a deal with the university on March 9, but teaching, graduate, and research assistants rejected it. Picket lines will remain active until a ratification vote is complete.

SOURCE CUPE 3903

For further information: Faiz Ahmed, Chair, CUPE 3903, 416-879-7078 (mobile), CUPE3903chair@members.cupe.ca

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