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York strike ends

by Archives February 3, 2009

TORONTO (CUP) – Students at Toronto’s York University returned to class on Monday after the province passed back-to-work legislation ending a strike that had kept the school’s 50,000 students out of class for almost three months.
The strike, by 3,400 contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants, had shut down Canada’s third largest university. While a small number of students returned to class last week, after tenured professors, who were not on strike, reached an agreement with the union and the university to cross the picket line.
The bill forcing the strikers back to work was passed by the Ontario legislature on Jan. 29 by a vote of 61 to eight. The law was introduced after a mediator ruled that there was no chance a settlement would be reached at the bargaining table.
At issue were wage increases, the union had asked for an 11 per cent increase over two years, while the university offered 9.25 over three years. The union had wanted a two year contract so that workers represented by CUPE at all Ontario universities would have their contracts expire at the same time.
A class action lawsuit has been launched against the university, by a Toronto law firm, they are seeking a tuition refund and damages.

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