QUEEN’S PARK BUREAU
Back-to-work legislation will be introduced tomorrow to bring an end to the York University strike.
This morning, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said in a statement he will recall the Legislature at 1 p.m. tomorrow to introduce the legislation.
“I am asking MPPs from all parties to provide unanimous consent for immediate passage of the bill so that students can get back to school this week,” he said. The premier will hold a news conference at mid-day today.
Earlier this week, McGuinty appointed labour mediator Reg Pearson to “bang a few heads together” and come up with a solution one of the longest strikes in York’s history. The strike shut down the York campus on Nov. 6, when 3,400 teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants walked off the job.
“Earlier today I was advised by Mr. Pearson that there is no reasonable prospect of a negotiated settlement between York University and CUPE Local 3903,” McGuinty said. “The sides are in a clear deadlock, and despite our best efforts to bring the sides together, that has not changed.”
On Thursday the union made a counter-offer the day after Pearson was appointed. It was the fifth “significant” counter offer made since the strike began, Tyler Shipley, spokesperson for Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903, previously told the Star.
The key issues the two sides differed on are job security for professors on short-term contracts, full-time openings for part-time faculty, length of contracts and better funding for grad students.
However, in these challenging economic times, delaying the education of 45,000 people is simply no longer an option, McGuinty added.