TORONTO, May 16, 2018 /CNW/ - The union representing 3,000 striking academic workers at York University today informed their employer that bargaining to resolve the 11-week long strike could resume as early as Thursday morning.
"We are awaiting a response from York, but our team is ready and has the flexibility it needs to engage in productive bargaining," said Devin Lefebvre, Chairperson of Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903), which represents striking teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants at York.
Earlier Wednesday, CUPE 3903 informed York University President Rhonda Lenton in a letter that, "our bargaining team has the authority to bargain and compromise in order to reach a negotiated settlement and we hope that York administration's bargaining team has a similar mandate and authority."
Lefebvre said prolonging the dispute any further would "cause incalculable damage to students' education, to York's reputation, and to the academic integrity of the courses that York has allowed to continue during the strike."
He added that reports of students being given grades based on questionable grounds are "becoming so frequent that we can no longer be silent on the issue of academic integrity. If students are being issued grades based on their existing grade point average or criteria other than marked course work and credit hours, that is a huge problem that may come back to haunt students in the future."
Units 1, 2 and 3 of CUPE 3903 walked off the job March 5 in an effort to secure a concession-free contract that addressed, among other things, endemic levels of precarious employment in Ontario's post-secondary education sector.
SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
For further information: Julian Arend, CUPE 3903 Spokesperson, 437-288-6165, Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641