York administration's offer rejected by striking workers - Macleans.ca

York administration’s offer rejected by striking workers

Before vote, spokesperson said chances of approval were “slim to none”

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The strike at York University, which has kept the majority of students out of classes for two months, will continue after union members rejected the university’s latest offer last night.

The union said nearly 90 per cent of its members voted to send their negotiators back into talks with the university.

NEW: York asks Minister of Labour to hold supervised strike vote

See also: Full coverage of the York University strike from Maclean’s OnCampus

Photo slideshow: Rallies at York University

Before the vote, Tyler Shipley, spokesman for the union representing the striking employees, said he believed members would reject the administration’s latest contract offer.

The union and the university took a break from bargaining Thursday to allow members of CUPE Local 3903 to meet to discuss the offer.

Even before those talks were held, however, a union spokesman predicted members would reject the deal.

Tyler Shipley said chances were “slim to none” that members would accept the offer, saying that the union would have a counter-proposal ready to present to the university’s administrators Friday at the bargaining table.

York officials say the new three-year offer provides 0.7 per cent more in overall wages and benefits for a total dollar value of 10.7 per cent.

University spokesman Alex Bilyk said the offer includes the same 9.25 per cent wage hike as previous proposals. He said York sweetened the pot with richer benefits and job security, including an offer to create 22 new full-time faculty positions.

The key issue is a union demand that contract faculty be given five-year contracts as opposed to the eight-month contracts they have now.

More than 3,300 teaching assistants and contract faculty walked off the job the Nov. 6, wiping out classes for some 50,000 students.

Talks will continue Friday.

– The Canadian Press