Faculty strike today at York
By Kevin Gale and Joshua Budd
As of 7 a.m. this morning, full-time York University faculty and librarians are on strike after no further progress was made at a meeting last night in the year-long collective agreement negotiations.
David Clipsham, chair of the York University Faculty Association, said the two sides have not resolved the issues of smaller classes, flexible retirement or compensation for social contract days over the last four years, which is why the association rejected the latest contract offer made yesterday by the administration.
Talks are scheduled to resume today at 1 p.m. and the university is committed to negotiate until an agreement is reached, said Sine Mackinnon, senior advisor for media relations at York.
Clipsham said he hopes the strike will end soon, but added the slowness of the administration to make decisions will hinder efforts. "It's difficult to discern who is making the decisions for the administration," he said.
Mackinnon said York students should not assume all classes are cancelled today as only 60 per cent of the school's faculty are part of the association's union. "The university will remain open and we will provide as many services as possible," she said.
The libraries and athletic facilities will be open, but classes taught by striking faculty will have to be cancelled, Mackinnon said.
"The administration addressed concerns on the major issues, probably not 100 per cent, but the administration went a long way to meeting their needs," she said.
Wayne Poirier, president of York's Federation of Students, said the federation is encouraging students to join the picket line for the strike, as Senate policy dictates students will not be penalized for missing classes during the strike. He added the federation is considering organizing a meeting with the Board of Governors on behalf of YUFA to pressure an agreement.
"The university has to account for the time they've been taking. They've had 13 months," Poirier said. "They have to stop holding students hostage to their stall tactics."
In the meantime, the federation has agreed to postpone student elections and is offering information to interested students to know what their academic rights are.