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York University contract workers reject final offer, vote in favour of strike on Monday

Click to play video 'York University contract workers reject final offer, vote in favour of strike on Monday' York University contract workers reject final offer, vote in favour of strike on Monday
WATCH ABOVE: York University students are preparing for a strike that could happen on Monday after contract workers reject final offer. As Erica Vella reports, for some students this is the second strike they have been faced with at the university. – Mar 3, 2018

Unionized contract workers at York University have voted to strike as of Monday after rejecting the school’s final offer.

CUPE Local 3903 said on Friday afternoon that its membership rejected the deal and approved a motion to begin a strike.

“We remain quite far apart on issues concerning job security for our contract faculty, funding for our graduate assistants and for our teaching assistants. These are some of the core issues and they represent a few different proposals but York hasn’t responded adequately to any of these issues,” CUPE spokesperson Lina Nasr told Global News on Saturday.

Nasr said that the union had hoped to keep bargaining over the weekend but said the university responded this morning saying they were “not willing.”

“They have not given us a sufficient reason — all they’ve said is that the last offer … was what they could provide,” Nasr said.

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On Saturday, York University confirmed that the union voted to go on strike Monday.

“Nothing is more important to York University than our students and their success. Yesterday, after six months of negotiation, CUPE 3903 representing graduate assistants, teaching assistants and contract faculty, announced that it has formally rejected the University’s final offer of March 1 and determined they will go on strike as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 5,” a statement from the university read.

WATCH: Fri, Mar 2: York University contract faculty have voted to reject what the school says is its final offer and that could set up a strike on Monday. Kamil Karamali reports.
Click to play video 'York University contract faculty vote in favour of strike' York University contract faculty vote in favour of strike
York University contract faculty vote in favour of strike – Mar 2, 2018

The university also said that although CUPE 3903 passed a motion to allow for bargaining over the weekend, the school had not received a counter-offer to their offer from March 1.

Workers have been without a contract since it expired on Aug. 31, 2017.

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York University officials said in a letter to students this week that the campus will remain open and classes will continue in the event of a strike. However, some classes, labs and tutorials may be temporarily suspended.

“Remedies will be provided for students to complete their year if their classes are cancelled or they cannot or do not want to cross a picket line,” the university said.

Libraries, student services, athletic facilities, food services and administration offices will continue to be open.

— With a file from Kerri Breen