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Thousands of York University workers go on strike

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About 3,000 York University employees are on strike as of Monday morning after negotiations with the post-secondary institution stagnated.

The union representing contract faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, research assistants and part-time librarians were planning a strike for Feb. 26 if a deal could not be reached.

Erin McIntosh, a communications officer with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 3903, said the university did not put “a single offer on the table” after the union’s strike vote Friday morning. She said the bargaining team was willing to keep negotiating throughout the weekend.

“The employer has clearly indicated they have no interest in avoiding a strike and has left already struggling workers no choice but to move ahead with the strike,” she said in a statement to CP24.

McIntosh added that access to educators eCLASS courses were suspended on Sunday night.

The two parties have been bargaining for about eight months.

A spokesperson for York University said they had offered the union proposals on Feb. 7 and Feb. 21, which they argued, “addressed crucial items, including increase in rates of pay.”

“Thus far, none of these proposals have been responded to at the bargaining table,” Yanni Dagonas said.

“The university is ensuring that students learning needs remain the top priority. Contingency plans for all other aspects of university operations are in place and will be activated as required and we will continue to work toward a swift, equitable, and sustainable agreement with CUPE 3903.”

The workers are expected to strike throughout the day on Monday, with a rally planned outside of York University subway station.

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