York University responds to CUPE 3903 labour disruption

Winter scene on the Keele campus

York University’s administration today expressed disappointment over the recent labour disruption by CUPE 3903, the union representing Teaching Assistants, contract faculty and Graduate Assistants.

“I know that students, parents and members of our community are concerned about this strike – I share these concerns,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor of York University. “Today’s action is unfortunate as it impacts each and every member of the York community, particularly our students. We have made every reasonable effort to avoid this labour disruption, and we continue to believe that a settlement is readily achievable. We look forward to continuing negotiations with CUPE 3903 as quickly as possible.”

For the duration of the labour disruption, York University has suspended all academic activities, with limited exceptions. All York facilities, including libraries, residences, computer labs, cafeterias and athletic facilities will remain open during their usual operating hours.

“Like York University, other institutions in the broader public and university sector are facing fiscal challenges,” said Shoukri. “But even with these challenges, York has not sought concessions, roll-backs or net zero compensation increases. In fact, the compensation and other collective agreement improvements we are offering are highly competitive with recent settlements elsewhere. CUPE 3903 is well positioned to lead the post-secondary education sector in a variety of bargaining areas.

“The University remains committed to returning to normal operations as quickly as possible and I am confident that, when we return to the bargaining table, we will reach a fair and competitive settlement that will enable us to get back to our first priority of providing the best possible learning environment for our students.”

For more information and updates, visit www.yorku.ca/labour2015.