On Campus

Ont. mediator set to "bang a few heads together" at York University

Premier says he'll send in a "top" mediator in the hopes of ending the lengthy strike

Premier Dalton McGuinty says he’ll send in a “top” mediator in the hopes of ending a strike that’s left 50,000 students in academic limbo at Canada’s third-largest university.

While the Opposition wants McGuinty to legislate an end to the strike at York University, the premier says the best option is to send in a mediator to “bang a few heads together” and resolve the strike as “quickly as possible.”

McGuinty characterized the move as taking one last shot at a deal, but did not set a firm deadline for a resolution.

Striking workers who voted on the university’s latest offer this week rejected it by 63 per cent and negotiations have reach an impasse.

Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty have been on strike since Nov. 6, keeping some 50,000 students out of class.

While the union says it will return to the bargaining table this afternoon, the university says it has made its final offer.

York president Mamdouh Shoukri says the school has no intention of negotiating for the “sake of appearance.”

Union official Tyler Shipley says the main issue is job security for contract faculty, who have to renew their jobs each term.

The proposed contract offers a 10.7 per cent pay increase over three years.

– The Canadian Press