TORONTO, March 2, 2018 /CNW/ - Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and part-time faculty at York University, members of Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903), will commence strike action Monday morning, after overwhelmingly rejecting their employer's final offer.
At a special membership meeting, members of all three CUPE 3903 units in bargaining with York University voted against sending York's 'final offer' to a ratification vote. That means barring any efforts to resolve the dispute over the weekend, strike action will commence at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.
"Our members have loudly and clearly given York University Administration the same message we have been telling for months—namely that the positions they were advancing at the bargaining table were unacceptable," said Devin Lefebvre, chair of CUPE 3903.
"York could have listened to what we've been telling them and actually negotiated. Instead, they chose to hold to positions they knew were unacceptable to the bargaining committee and the membership," he added.
Within four separate units, CUPE 3903 represents nearly 3,000 contract faculty, teaching assistants, graduate assistants and research assistants at York University. Units 1, 2 and 3 have been attempting to negotiate a fair collective agreement with York for several months.
"We are deeply concerned that the administration insists that it will be 'business as usual' and will not be cancelling classes. Administration needs to be honest with students—our members are responsible for delivering 60 per cent of the course work on campus, and it will not be business as usual Monday if our members are forced to take strike action," said Lefebvre.
He added that the Union's bargaining committee will make itself available for negotiations over the weekend, in an effort to resolve the dispute ahead of Monday's deadline.
"The weekend offers both parties one last opportunity to reach a settlement everyone can live with. We are ready to negotiate, but we need a willing partner across the table," said Lefebvre.
SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
For further information: Lina Nasr: CUPE 3903 Bargaining Committee spokesperson, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641