“Liberals won’t recall Ontario legislature to end York strike”

TORONTO — An Opposition demand to recall the Ontario legislature to order an end to the strike at York University was dismissed Tuesday when the government said it preferred the two sides reach a negotiated settlement.
The 3,300 striking contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants at the Toronto university will vote on the latest contract offer next Monday and Tuesday in secret ballots arranged by the Labour Ministry.

Under Ontario law, employers can ask for a vote of union members on a contract offer just once in each round of bargaining — something the university asked the government for last week.

The strike, which began Nov. 6, has left some 50,000 full-time students without classes.

Progressive Conservative Peter Shurman said students can’t afford to wait another week to find out if the striking staff will accept the deal and return to work.

“The strike has to be ended now, and it has to be ended by the legislature of Ontario,” said Shurman.

“This is a situation without end unless the government gets involved and ends the strike legislatively.”

However, a spokesman for Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday that the government still thinks the best contract settlement will come from negotiations, a position echoed by Universities Minister John Milloy.

“I appreciate the frustration of the parents and the students,” Milloy said in an interview.

“I’ve urged and encouraged both sides to resolve it as quickly as possible, and we continue to do that.”

Shurman said he was worried the school year could be lost if the politicians don’t step in soon to end the walkout, now in its tenth week.

“I believe that it is in jeopardy, but I can’t get anybody — and I’m well connected to the university — to give me a drop dead date,” he complained.

“It looks like we’re approaching it, and I’m talking about within the month of January.”

Shurman called the situation urgent, and said at the very least the government should force an end to the strike and send both sides to binding arbitration.

The university is working on plans to extend the school year if necessary so all the York students can complete their courses. That has raised concerns about students missing out on summer jobs and having to find apartments for a longer school year.

Milloy said it was too early to talk about any kind of help for students and he didn’t want to discuss the possibility of tuition refunds.

“If the school year is extended, we’d be happy to work with students and the university in terms of the support programs that we have,” he said.

“Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves right now. Hopefully everything can be done within the current time frame.”

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 is recommending the York workers in three bargaining units reject the offers, saying they are “substandard” and take workers in the wrong direction.

The union is demanding contract faculty be awarded five-year contracts instead of the eight-month contracts they have now.




Ohhhhhhhhhhhh niiiiicccccceeeeeeeeeeeee.



Filed under Uncategorized

33 responses to ““Liberals won’t recall Ontario legislature to end York strike”

  1. rawrz

    The Liberal’s got my vote next election. I just wished they did this sooner…

  2. Of course legislation can’t precede forced ratification.

    It will be a wild and unpredictable ride if forced ratification fails, though. All dice will be in play then.

  3. Cassie


    York finally confirmed the dates of Jan. 19/20 in updated media releases

  4. G

    Wait everyone keeps saying the year will not be lost and now this guy is saying that’s a real possibility in January. He shouldn’t be using scare tatics like that if its not true. Let’s see how the vote goes and then we can see what the next step should be.

  5. demarche

    “Liberals won’t recall Ontario legislature to end York strike”

    Well, of course they have to say that for now, even if they think they might do it.

    What would happen if the headline was “Liberals will wait until January 30 to recall Ontario legislature to end York strike”? Whoever thought they would get the best deal out of forced settlement (probably York, since arbitrators aren’t sympathetic to parties that “demand the impossible”) would just sit there and play with iPhone apps until January 30.

    Nobody knows what’s going to happen, but anyone who thinks that there is *no* possibility of back-to-work legislation if the forced ratification vote fails, is just dreaming. Anything is possible.

  6. CapitalistWarrior

    Nike paid off Liberals. Damn it…

  7. York Student


  8. @G

    Who is saying that the year 100% won’t be lost? Just cause someone who has a blog says it, does not mean that it is 100% true. I do agree Shurman is probably just fear mongering, and that it is very unlikley that our year gets canned. But you would have to be nuts to think that our year being canned is IMPOSSIBLE.

  9. AndrewB

    Of course he is using the threat of a cancelled year. To be fair, he is doing it because it sounds a lot better in the media and voters will remember that the Liberal’s could have stopped 50,000 from almost lossing their year but did nothing.

  10. TRUTH

    Another defeat for capitalists
    The victory is near. Demand the impossible and defeat imperialism
    Hopefully we all lose our school year so we can contribute to this victory

  11. yorkstrike2008


    This isn’t my article. It is from Cp24. I just posted it here. Just to clear that up.

  12. D F D

    Just have a question to those cupe members…Last week alot of the cupe members were saying that the forced ratification has a high chance of being a failure for the union was very likely to reject the offer and emails were being sent like wildfire to reject it. However, some cupe members are now saying that its a 50/50 chance of the forced ratifcation being passed. Just wondernig what happened in the last week that made the forced ratifcation almost guarnteed to fail to now 50/50 chance of being passed?

  13. @D F D

    Most 3903s say they’re sure forced ratification will fail. My point was only that nobody knows — regardless what 3903s say. That’s why I assigned 50/50 chances.

  14. flushafleshfarm

    Wow. If legislation is really off the table then York holds all the power in the end. It will be 100% up to them whether or not to let the year go. I`d have said there was no chance of losing the year except that this will all happen again in 2010 if the school doesn`t do something radically different than in `01. If they ever hope to hand the union a real defeat, they may need to blow the whole thing up real good, otherwise the pattern will repeat forever.

  15. pass/fail



    honestly..u cant get mad at TRUTH..he/she..is allowed to post whatever he/she feels is right..so take it easy there buddy

  17. tester

    The Liberals are saying this now to allow the negotiations and voting to run its course. At some point, the Liberals WILL introduce back to work legislation…..

    My gut says it will be AFTER we lose the FALL term, but BEFORE we lose the entire year.

    If you want them to act, keep emailing them

  18. haiden

    To Truth

    Yes, let’s all hope we loose our school year. So that way those of use that need this semester to graduate in order to proceed into higher learning can then all sit in little unemployed circles, sharing flowers, smiles, puppies and cocaine needles. That will really show “the man” we mean business.

  19. CapitalistWarrior

    I’m with you bro all the way!

    You are too close minded. Thinking about graduating and starting making money, contributing to this capitalist world of yours. WELL NO THX. We won’t let that happen!

  20. Iris

    Sorry for just barging in. My prof just announced on Webct that “Courses that meet on Wednesdays will be given just 2 MORE CLASSES when we go back instead of the 3 on our syllabus”. The exam for the course is not taking place during the exam period, instead she has kept it on the 2nd class we meet, along with another huge assignment (we still havent got proper instructions on how to do it). I definitely do not want the year to be cancelled but this is quite absurd!

  21. haiden


    I’m assuming we’re all in school so that we can all get that piece of paper that says we are qualified and allow us to have some sort of means to earn a living.

    Unless your one of those whose parents pay for everything from the car you drive, to the clothes you wear, to the rent you pay and to the books you read. And the only reason your in university is because you just need to “find” yourself since you can’t decide where you want to travel.

    Sorry, I didn’t take OSAP nor borrow from my parents. My time is money, and it’s being wasted. Not really interested in sticking it to the man right now.

  22. j

    @ haiden

    hahaha – I’ll be right there with you.

  23. AndrewB

    From Macleans

    “Bob Drummond, Dean of York University’s Faculty of Arts, tells Maclean’s the university “will not cancel the Fall or Winter terms” unless absolutely necessary and only after it has cancelled summer classes first. He says that is not something the university is close to doing at this point.”


    So stop talking about the year being lost.

  24. dsd

    @ haiden
    I’m pretty sure the dude is being sarcastic.. Otherwise, he’s a lost case. Same applies to TRUTH.

  25. CapitalistWarrior

    NO SIR NO SARCASM HERE! We must fight the power, after all, think of the children!

  26. haiden

    @ dsd

    I’m laying it on pretty thick and pretty extreme. Didn’t think I’d have to dumb down the sarcasm.

  27. AndrewB

    You don’t care about the children, you care about youself. Considering how much the world will change by the time “the children” get to University, this strike will be long forgotten.

  28. haiden

    @ dsd
    Sorry read your post wrong. We’re on the same page here buddy. CapitalistWarrior is a tool.

  29. Commuter

    @ AndrewB

    Is Drummond saying the exam schedule is compressed further?

    It was at 18 days before the strike, and 12 until recently. He says they’re compressing it into 10 in that article.


  30. brutal

    Worst smelling hallway at York is___________.

    there are many smelly hallways at york, lets hear what some people are thinking on this one.

  31. FUTURE

    There seems to be a lot of divide and concur on the sites these day. It may be prudent to remember that once this is all over we will be required to all play in the same sandbox together.

    I am trying to learn patience as my bank account dwindles (no OSAP or alt funding) and opportunities for obtaining gainful employment in the summer vanish. Yet have remind myself that this is just a short period in my life. It is not the first nor will it be the last time when things haven’t gone according to plan.

    Now, it would be a disaster of sorts if the year was cancelled yet I find that option to be minimal at this time. The cost of reimbursing 50K students is just too high.

    I suggest that for our peace of mind we all use this time as wisely as possible. Try to be positive and learn from the experience. For me this strike is helping me stop the “what if” narrative that goes on in my head. Perhaps you can learn something equally worthwhile.

  32. Union member

    Well said Future.

  33. TT

    Does nobody understand that the fall term on its own cannot be cancelled? In sciences, at least, many of the fall courses lead into or are concrete prerequisites for the winter courses. All those people who were talking about biochem earlier, for example. They’re not just going to cancel Biochem I and drop us into Biochem II, while we miss out on the biggest and most important chunk of the BCI course, information that we need both for BCII and third year courses that may be running in the winter.

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