Statement from President Meric Gertler re: CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Strike

TORONTO, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The past several weeks have been a troubling time for all of us.

Faculty, staff and students have been respectful of the collective bargaining process and both CUPE 3902 Unit 1 and the University have tried to arrive at a settlement to end the strike.  Both sides have worked hard to find a deal.  And yet today, after almost four weeks of the strike, we are
at an impasse.

Two issues remain as constant and critical needs for our community.

Preserving the academic year for all of our students, and ending this strike in a respectful and civil way.

We feel now is the time to take a new approach. We have spoken to the Provincial Mediator, and through the Mediator, to the leadership of the union, and today I am calling upon the union to join us in agreeing to binding arbitration.

Under this process, an independent, neutral third party, appointed by the Provincial Mediator, would arbitrate all matters that remain in dispute and determine a final resolution that both parties would have to accept.

Agreeing to binding arbitration would also mean an effective and immediate end to the strike.

Today, I am calling on the leadership of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 to agree to binding arbitration. Time is of the essence as we enter into the final weeks of the semester and prepare for critical year-end exams for our students.

Let us agree to binding arbitration, and let us agree to end the strike, in a way that is respectful of all our students - graduate and undergraduate - and our faculty.

I believe this proposal is in keeping with a longstanding tradition at the University of Toronto. It reflects the best values of our academic community - working collegially and respectfully, and putting the interests of our students first. 

Finally, let me acknowledge that this has been a stressful time for students.

We appreciate your patience and your determination to continue your studies.

I remain hopeful that we can both agree to binding arbitration as a way to end this strike now.

Thank you.

SOURCE University of Toronto

For further information: Media Relations, University of Toronto, 416-978-0100, media.relations@utoronto.ca

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