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U of T strike ends after workers vote to enter binding arbitration

The Soldier's Tower stands over the University of Toronto campus in Toronto on Thursday, November 6, 2014. The Canadian Pres/Darren Calabrese

TORONTO – Striking University of Toronto workers will be back on the job Friday after voting in favour of entering into binding arbitration with the university, ending a month-long strike.

Local 3902 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said its members voted 942 for and 318 against entering binding arbitration at a Thursday evening vote.

Roughly 6,000 teaching assistants and course instructors have been on strike since Feb. 27.

On Wednesday, U of T president Meric Gertler had asked the union to agree to binding arbitration to resolve the labour dispute.

In a statement issued Thursday night, the university said it was “very pleased” with the vote and thanked students for their patience.

“To the students who have had to endure uncertainty and anxiety at a crucial time in the year – and especially those who are in the final year of their programs – thank you for your patience. We are enormously relieved that the strike is over. And we share a commitment to resolving all remaining complications caused by the strike as soon as possible,” Gertler said in a statement.

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Ryan Culpepper, CUPE 3902 vice-chair, said in a statement the union was also “very pleased to see an end to this dispute” but said the proposed agreement failed to address underlying wage and job security issues.

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