Ontario Liberals introduce legislation that would end York University strike

Click to play video: 'York University striking staff stage Day of Action'
York University striking staff stage Day of Action
May 4: Striking York University staff are getting support from other unions in the province as they stage a day of action. Caryn Lieberman is there with more – May 4, 2018

TORONTO – Ontario’s governing Liberals have introduced legislation that would end a two-month strike at Toronto’s York University that has affected tens of thousands of students.

If passed, the legislation would refer any outstanding issues between the university and some 3,000 graduate teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate research assistants to binding mediation-arbitration.

The province says the two sides would have five days to agree on a mediator-arbitrator before one is appointed by the minister of labour.

The government had launched a commission to look into the dispute and says the decision to introduce legislation comes on the heels of a report by commissioner William Kaplan, which found the parties had reached an impasse.

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The strike began on March 5 and the province says close to 40,000 students have seen at least one of their courses affected.

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York is offering a tuition credit for those who have felt the impact of the work stoppage.

Students who drop out of their fall-winter program can get a credit allowing them to retake the same course, or take a different one, before the end of 2019 without incurring any additional costs.

“We are disappointed that the parties were not able to come together to resolve this dispute in the best interest of thousands of students who have been adversely impacted by this situation. It is now in the public interest for the legislature to take action to end the strike,” Advanced Education Minister Mitzie Hunter said in a statement.

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