President Rhonda Lenton regarding labour disruption
March 5, 2018
By now, you will have learned that following six months of negotiations, CUPE 3903 has rejected the University’s best offer to reach a renewed settlement (or collective agreement), presented on March 1.
I am proud of the offer York put forward to teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and contract faculty. It represented a marked improvement in financial, social, and academic terms and ensured that York’s compensation package remains the best of all Ontario universities.
The 3,000 colleagues and students represented by CUPE 3903 are important members of our York community, now 60,000 strong. We value their work - the research and the teaching that contributes to a rich academic experience. That’s why we made an excellent offer that is the best in Ontario.
I am disappointed and saddened that the academic year will be disrupted, especially for our students. Nevertheless, CUPE 3903 is in a legal position to strike on March 5 at 12:01am.
I want to assure you that the University is doing everything possible to limit the impacts. Our offer to go to binding arbitration for the issues of most importance to CUPE 3903 where we have not been able to reach agreement still stands. This would bring a swift end to the strike and allow for a fair settlement.
The University is staying open and any classes that can will continue and academic accommodations will be made as needed. Student support services, administration, campus operations, retail, and athletics will also be fully operational.
In closing I want to urge everyone to remember that we embrace the diversity of our community as a strength, including diversity of thought. We will weather this challenge better together, with tolerance, civility and respect.
Rhonda L. Lenton, PhD
President & Vice-Chancellor