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Ontario Acts To Save Academic Year

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Ontario Acts To Save Academic Year

Legislation requires York University to resume operations

The Ontario government has introduced legislation that would require an end to the deadlocked labour dispute and require York University to resume its normal operations. The proposed legislation governs labour disputes between York University and three bargaining units from the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903 (CUPE 3903).

The legislation, if passed, would require any strike or lock-out at York University to be terminated. Striking York University workers would be required to return to their jobs.

All outstanding issues would be referred to binding arbitration. York University and CUPE 3903 would have five days to agree on an arbitrator, or one would be appointed by the Minister of Labour.

Quick Facts

  • Collective agreements between York University and CUPE 3903 union expired on August 31, 2008
  • The strike by approximately 3,400 workers began on November 6, 2008
  • More than 45,000 students have been unable to attend classes for 80 days at Canada’s third largest university

Background Information


“Our government respects and believes in the collective bargaining process. Unfortunately, in this case, the parties became deadlocked after a 12-week strike. We must act now to get 45,000 students back in class.”

Peter Fonseca

Minister of Labour



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