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CAUT Bulletin Archives

January 2001

Strike Ends at York University

Picket lines around York University campus came down Jan. 9 after the university announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the CUPE 3903 bargaining team on collective agreements for both its teaching and graduate assistants.

The strike, entering its third month, came to an end after three days of intense negotiations following a forced ratification vote held early in January for a contract deemed "unacceptable" by the union.

"The CUPE 3903 strike puts the provincial and federal governments on notice," said Lorna Erwin, vice-chair of the York University Faculty Association. "Students and faculty will go the distance in the fight for accessible, quality post-secondary education."

Major movement by the administration on the issues of both units -- protection from rising tuition for teaching assistants and a wage and benefit increase for graduate assistants prompted the union to bring the deals to a vote with a recommendation that the membership ratify the agreements.

York's teaching assistants have secured tuition indexation that gives them full financial compensation for futute tuition increases, and a 2 per cent salary increase in each year of a two-year agreement.

Graduate assistants, who were voting on a first contract, have won a tuition rebate beginning May 2001 and a base salary of $5,880 plus a signing bonus.

"We are immensely proud of our CUPE colleagues," Erwin said. "Their victory is a victory for all of us."