On Campus

NDP stalls back-to-work bill in York University strike

Students could have returned to classes as early as Monday

Ontario’s New Democrats have stalled the provincial government’s bid to end the York University strike with back-to-work legislation.

The legislation tabled today could have ended the strike and sent students back to class early this week, had it passed with the unanimous consent of the legislature.

But the NDP’s eight members voted against early passage, arguing that an end to the labour dispute should not be forced by the government.

As a result, the legislation will have to be debated several times before it can go to a final vote, likely later this week or early next week.

Premier Dalton McGuinty says there’s no reasonable prospect of a negotiated settlement between the university and the union representing contract faculty and other staff.

About 3,300 workers at York have been off the job since Nov. 6., cancelling classes for about 50,000 students at Canada’s third-largest university.

York has seen three of the country’s five longest faculty association strikes. Saturday marked Day 80 of the current strike, while in 2001 there was a 78-day strike and in 1997 a strike lasted 55 days.

The length of those strikes are surpassed only by strikes at the University of Quebec in 1976-77 and Laval University in 1976, which both lasted about four months.

– The Canadian Press