York University issues the following update to the community:
In the best interests of our students and the York community, the University, through the mediator, informed CUPE 3903 that it is prepared to return to the bargaining table with the mediator’s assistance on Tuesday, March 20.
So far, there continues to no evidence of movement by CUPE 3903, with 41 union demands still on the table with wage increments, expansion of benefits and other increases that significantly exceed sector norms, (27 per cent increase over the previous collective agreement) and proposals that are inconsistent with York University’s commitment to academic excellence and student success.
Our across-the-board wage offer leads all other universities in Ontario, is comprehensive, providing increases and improvements in wages, funds, professional supports, health care, sexual violence response and equity provisions.
We have been clear from the outset that we see no reason for the disruptive and harmful effect of a strike on our students. On March 13, the University proposed a path forward with three options that could result in a renewed agreement with CUPE 3903, and end the strike:
- Provide a realistic counter proposal for settlement, on the University’s March 1 final offer, that would allow both parties to continue the collective bargaining process.
- Accept our long-standing offer of interest arbitration on the most contentious issues, where an independent arbitrator would make a binding decision fair to both parties.
- Jointly agree to non-binding mediation, where an independent mediator could review our respective proposals and, if no mediated settlement could be reached, would issue a report on what they saw as the appropriate path forward.
On Thursday, March 15, we requested that CUPE 3903 present the options to their union membership. The union provided its response to the University before their membership meeting, rejecting all three options and has provided no further response following the membership meeting.
Nevertheless, CUPE 3903 has communicated that it believes a negotiated settlement can be reached if the parties return to the table. In the interest of our students, we believe that it is important for us to return to the table to hear CUPE 3903’s proposals for a resolution.
We look forward to discussing the path forward.