Volume 94, Issue 38

Tuesday, November 18, 2000


Homeless get a vote

Hate crimes committee bolstered

Better youth turnout a goal for elections

York U. strike could be over soon

UPD urges students to call Foot Patrol

Campus Briefs

Quirks and Smirks

Ontario labour law questioned

Missing triplets spotted in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Planet Me

York U. strike could be over soon

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

An end to the faculty and teaching assistant strike at York University may finally be in sight, as talks between administration and the striking union resumed yesterday.

Approximately 2,250 contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants hit the picket lines Oct. 26 after talks with administration broke off two days earlier.

On Oct. 30, between 20 and 30 undergraduate students occupied the offices of administration's VP-student affairs at York in protest of the strike.

According to Michelle Lowry, executive member of Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3903, the union representing the striking faculty, TAs and GAs, an open letter was delivered to York administration last Wednesday night informing the university the union was prepared to resume negotiations. Thursday morning the university replied, indicating they would resume talks Monday morning, she said, adding talks are scheduled to continue today and tomorrow.

Lowry explained class scheduling has been seriously hampered as a result of the picket lines. "Estimates are 50 to 10 per cent of arts classes are being held and 50 per cent of all classes [are being held]. Campus is quite dead."

Entering negotiations, Lowry said the union feels it is in a strong position and are not prepared to make major concessions. "We aren't prepared to accept rollbacks," she said. "Our pickets are very strong. We are in a position of strength and I think [administration] realizes that."

Sine MacKinnon, York university spokesperson, said the university's offer has not changed and added it was the union who brought negotiations to a halt by walking away from the bargaining table.

Chair of the Senate at York, Bob Drummond, said the university has deadlines in place pertaining to the rescheduling of examinations and classes. "We decided last week, after seven days, that half-year, one term courses will require rescheduling," he said. "After 14 days, we will have to decide about rescheduling full year courses."

Drummond explained the December exam period could be used to reschedule cancelled classes and examinations could be delayed until second term.

Hasrat Gafoor, president of York Federation of Students said many students are nervous the strike will affect their mid-term exams. He added the situation is frustrating for students as they have little control over when and if the strike ends. "We wait and hope it gets done as soon as possible," he said.

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