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Ontario NDP Accuse YorkU of Bargaining in Bad Faith

posted by Geordie

January 27, 2009

Ontario NDP Accuse YorkU of Bargaining in Bad Faith

Ontario NDP leader Howard Hampton spoke against the back to work legislation of CUPE 3903 (York TA's and Graduate Faculty) being debated in the Legislature on Monday January 26th, 2009:

"In the last week, the university insisted on a vote on their offer. The workers voted; they voted democratically. They said, "No, this offer is not good. We turn it down." The workers prepared a counter-offer. Do you know what the university said? "We're not going to look at it. We're not going to bargain. We're not even prepared to discuss it." Does that sound like a university that wants to get the students back in the classroom? Does that sound like deadlock? No, what it sounds like is a university that is saying, "We're not going to bargain."

Let me give you another example. We left here before Christmas. There was about a three-week break in the university schedule over Christmas before they'd return to class-the last exams; ample opportunity to bargain. Was York University willing to bargain during those three weeks over the so-called winter break? Lots of opportunity: three clear weeks. Was the university willing to bargain? No.

They tell us, and the McGuinty Liberals tell us, that it is absolutely essential to get these students back to the classroom today. They had three weeks, the end of December, the beginning of January, where they could have, should have been bargaining and they wouldn't do it. And where were the McGuinty Liberals? Were the McGuinty Liberals calling up the York University administration, saying, "You'd better get to the table, and you'd better work within Ontario's labour relations system and try to find a collective agreement"? No. The McGuinty Liberals weren't doing anything either.

This isn't deadlock. This is a university that decided, "We'll lock out the students. We'll put them in the street. We'll go through the motions of making it look like we're interested in bargaining and we'll just string it out, string it out, and then we'll go to the McGuinty government and ask them to end it."

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