Eli Ridder | The Post

The union representing contract faculty, teaching assistants and others at York University voted on Friday to reject the institution’s final offer and go on strike if there is no agreement by Monday. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 has been engaged in negotiations with the university since August of last year, and passed a deadline on Mar. 1 to finalize a new contract.

Union spokesperson Leena Nasr told CP24 members “directed negotiators to make themselves available to York University over the weekend” on Friday.

Union vice president Julian Arend said it would be possible for them to request a return to the bargaining table, but they say a strike would be the most likely option.

“Most likely (the members) will direct the executive to strike because people are very upset about what they’re being offered and what they’re not being offered. I think everyone needs to be prepared. It’s always a possibility but it just became a lot stronger of a possibility.”

Nasr told the Post earlier in the week that the main areas where the union seeks improvements from York for its staff are in wages, benefits, funding, job security, health, safety, and pedagogy.

CUPE members make up about 60 per cent of the teaching staff at York, among other positions.

The issues outlined by the union online go beyond just York University, according to Nasr.

“The issues affecting our members affect everyone in our sector, all education workers, and of course the issue of precarious work affects us all,” Nasr told the Post.

“Equal work for equal pay was the spirit of the recently passed bill 148. Our members want to see those principles applied not just to wages but in the form of protections and securities for our members.”

More details to follow. Image of York University Keele Campus sign from Canadian Jewish News.

Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He writes for Breaking911 and Guelph Politico, among others. Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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