York U students brace for Thursday strike deadline
Published Monday, November 3, 2008 6:50PM EST
A looming strike at York University could result in classes being suspended for 50,000 students.
The union which represents contract employees, teaching and graduate assistants at the university have been in negotiations with management since July. Both sides have said that they are not close to reaching an agreement over issues like job security and wages.
"I can't say I'm optimistic at this point," said Graham Potts, chief negotiatior for Cupe Local 3909.
The union says the dean at York received a 15.6 per cent raise last year while CUPE members received a 2 per cent raise.
This Thursday is the strike deadline. The university has said that classes will be cancelled if there's a strike.
"It just puts everything on hold," said one frustrated student. "(If there's a strike) we're being deprived of an education we're paying for."
Another student says a strike could ruin her summer plans.
"Everything's going to get pushed and I had so many plans for the summer as well, like doing volunteer work. And I wanted to take another course in the summer to make my next year easier," she said.
Robert Drummond, dean of the faculty of arts, said he is "very concerned" about stalled bargaining.
"Obviously it would be very disruptive to everybody on campus," he said.