Ontario Gets York Students Back to Class



    York University Labour Disputes Resolutions Act, 2009 Passes

    TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The Ontario Legislature has passed legislation that requires an end to
the deadlocked labour dispute and requires York University to resume its
normal operations. The York University Labour Disputes Resolutions Act, 2009
governs the labour disputes between York University and three bargaining units
from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 (CUPE 3903). The act
comes into force on Royal Assent.
    The legislation requires any strike or lock-out at York University to be
terminated immediately. Striking York University workers are required to
return to their jobs.
    All outstanding issues are referred to binding arbitration. York
University and CUPE 3903 have five days to agree on an arbitrator, or one will
be appointed by the Minister of Labour.

    QUOTES

    "Our government respects and believes in the collective bargaining
process," said Labour Minister Peter Fonseca. "It is only in rare
circumstances like this one that government intervention should occur. At the
end of the day, it's about the students. This legislation gets 45,000 of
Ontario's best and brightest young people back to their studies after almost 3
months."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Collective agreements between York University and CUPE 3903 union
        expired on August 31, 2008. The strike by approximately 3,400 workers
        began on November 6, 2008.

    -   The arbitrator will have the exclusive power to determine all matters
        necessary to conclude a new collective agreement, and also will have
        the ability to assist the parties in settling any related matter.

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                                                      ontario.ca/labour-news
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
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             YORK UNIVERSITY LABOUR DISPUTES RESOLUTION ACT, 2009
    

    The York University Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2009 requires an end
to the deadlocked labour disruption involving York University and three
bargaining units from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 (CUPE
3903). The act comes into force on Royal Assent.

    Termination of Strikes and Lock-outs

    The new act requires York University to immediately terminate any ongoing
lock-out and CUPE 3903 is required to immediately terminate any ongoing
strike. York University is also required to resume or continue its normal
operations.
    There is also a prohibition on any further strike or lock-out with
respect to this round of collective bargaining. Any action to call, authorize,
threaten, counsel, procure, support or encourage a strike or lock-out is also
prohibited.

    Appointment of Arbitrator

    All outstanding issues in dispute between York University and CUPE 3903
are referred to binding arbitration.
    York University and CUPE 3903 have five days to agree on the appointment
of an arbitrator and to notify the Minister of Labour. If they are unable to
agree, the Minister will appoint an arbitrator.

    Arbitration

    The arbitrator will have the exclusive power to determine all matters
necessary to conclude a new collective agreement, and also will have the
ability to assist the parties in settling any related matter.
    The arbitrator will be required to begin the proceedings within 30 days
of being appointed. The Act also requires the arbitrator to make an award
within 90 days of his or her appointment. The parties and the arbitrator have
the power to extend these time limits, on agreement, before or after they
expire.
    In making the award, the arbitrator will be required to take into
consideration a number of criteria, including the employer's ability to pay
and the economic situation in Ontario.
    The award will be final and binding on York University, CUPE 3903, and
all employees who are in the affected bargaining units.
    Nothing in the Act prohibits the parties from continuing to negotiate,
and they are encouraged to do so. If the parties execute a new collective
agreement, they will be required to inform the arbitrator, and the arbitration
process will terminate.
    Until a new collective agreement is in place, the terms and conditions of
employment that applied the day before a strike became lawful continue to
apply with respect to the employees represented by CUPE 3903, unless York
University and CUPE 3903 agree otherwise.

    Enforcement

    A failure to comply with the provisions of the new act that require the
termination of lock-outs and strikes and prohibit them from occurring
constitute an offence punishable upon conviction by a fine of up to $2,000 for
an individual and up to $25,000 in the case of an employer or trade union.
Each day of non-compliance constitutes a separate offence.
    A strike or lock-out in contravention of the act will also be deemed an
unlawful strike for the purposes of the Labour Relations Act, 1995, and the
aggrieved party could apply to the Ontario Labour Relations Board for a remedy
such as monetary damages.

    
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                                                      ontario.ca/labour-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Susan McConnell, Minister's Office, (416)
326-7710; Tom Zach, Ministry of Labour, (416) 326-7404

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