Forced vote on York University offer wastes valuable bargaining time, union says

    TORONTO, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - After five days of negotiations that
brought the two sides significantly closer together, CUPE 3903 is frustrated
and disappointed by York University administration's decision to walk away
from the table and call for a forced ratification vote on an offer that a
general membership meeting rejected last night by nearly 90%.
    "Our members agreed that the university's offer is inadequate and does
not address several key priorities set out by the membership," said
spokesperson Tyler Shipley.
    In particular, CUPE 3903 members are deeply concerned by the
administration's unwillingness to maintain a historic commitment to converting
contract professors into tenure stream jobs, especially in context of more
than 100 retirements that have occurred in the tenure stream.
    "York's lack of commitment to conversions not only creates hardship for
contract professors but also institutionalizes the casualization of university
teaching," said Maria Wallis, a contract professor. "Teaching at the
university level should not be a 'McJob.'"
    This tenth week of the strike marked the first time that York could be
persuaded to stay at the table with the union's bargaining team, Shipley said.
Prior to Jan. 3, there had been only five days of bargaining. Though both
members and leadership are disappointed that this recent period of fruitful
negotiations has come to an end, Shipley said they are confident that a
ratification vote will only reiterate the union's strong commitment to its
priorities and to its members' ability to provide a high-quality education at
    According to Ben Nelson, a teaching assistant and York University
senator, "The resumption of negotiations as soon as possible is the best and
quickest way to end the strike."

For further information:

For further information: Tyler Shipley, CUPE 3903 Spokesperson, (647)
295-1674; Christina Rousseau, Chair, CUPE 3903, (416) 736-5154

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