Contract workers at York University continue strike as negotiations fall apart

Click to play video: 'Alleged hit-and-run at York University picket line being investigated' Alleged hit-and-run at York University picket line being investigated
Witnesses say a vehicle sped past a lineup of cars halted by striking York University staff and hit a man before speeding away. Kamil Karamali reports – Mar 16, 2018

TORONTO – The latest effort to end a strike by striking contract faculty and teaching assistants at York University have fallen apart.

Bargaining had resumed Tuesday with the help of a mediator to end a walkout by more than 3,000 members of CUPE Local 3903 that began
March 5 over the key issues of wages and job security.

But the union says the university’s bargaining team “issued an ultimatum” and refused requests to continue negotiations while the university issued its own statement stating the union “had nothing new to offer” and there is “no path forward to a settlement.”

READ MORE: York University says it’s ready to go back to bargaining table

Local 3903 chairman Devin Lefebvre says York chose to leave the table even though his bargaining team made “significant moves to resolve the outstanding issues” and had withdrawn several proposals.

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The university said that while a number of issues were settled, they remain far apart on wages and on the number of conversions of contract faculty to full-time positions and funding for graduate students.

READ MORE: Contract staff represented by CUPE begin strike at York University

York said it has told the union know through the mediator that it is prepared to continue bargaining as soon as the union is “prepared to work within a framework for an achievable settlement.”

CUPE says picket lines will remain up at all York University entrances and more than half the classroom instruction on campus will continue to be disrupted due to the strike.

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