The union representing striking contract faculty and other staff at York University is "disappointed" after their latest counter-offer was met with silence from the opposition.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees 3903 made a significant counter-offer with reductions to its key demands, CUPE spokesperson Tyler Shipley told on Friday.

In response, there's been no movement from York University's side, Shipley said.

"We're disappointed to say the least," he said.

"Let's put it this way, we've talked to the mediator," Alex Bilyk, a York University spokesperson told on Friday regarding the union's counter-counter.

It's the first such move in negotiations since talks collapsed on Jan. 9 and the university asked the province to conduct a secret-ballot vote on its then-tabled offer. Sixty-three per cent of CUPE members rejected the offer on the advice of the union.

"They're holding out on an offer that's been defeated already. It's absurd," Shipley said. "It's the eleventh hour and they need to be at table negotiating."

Earlier in the week, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty brought in Reg Pearson to mediate talks between the two sides and help resolve the 11-week strike.

Talks are scheduled to resume Friday for the fourth round of face-to-face talks since the strike began on Nov. 6.

The strike by about 3,300 contract workers and teaching assistants has cancelled classes for some 50,000 students, but about 5,000 are set to resume classes on Monday, Jan. 26.

The senate's executive committee decided late Wednesday that students in the following four study areas will be allowed to return to class:

  • students in the School of Administrative Studies in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies
  • undergraduates in the Schulich School of Business
  • students in the Faculty of Education's Pre-Service Full Time Consecutive Program, for which the Ontario Teachers' Federation has lifted its suspension of practica
  • students in the Master of Public Policy, Administration & Law Program in Atkinson

With files from The Canadian Press