On Campus

York University back-to-work bill passes in legislature

End of 12-week strike means 45,000 students will head back to class next week

Back-to-work legislation aimed at ending a 12-week strike at York University has passed in the Ontario legislature.

That means about 45,000 students will be able to return next week to their studies at Canada’s third-largest university.

They’ve been out of class since Nov. 6, when 3,400 teaching assistants, contract faculty and graduate assistants walked off the job.

The union backed off its threat to challenge the back-to-work legislation in court late Wednesday and says it won’t stop teachers from returning to class.

Union officials say the students have already paid a heavy a price for the strike so they decided not to fight the legislation in court.

Still, spokesman Tyler Shipley says they’re incredibly disappointed and called the back-to-work bill an unprecedented lack of respect for the bargaining process.

Premier Dalton McGuinty recalled the legislature last weekend in the hopes of getting all-party consent to pass the bill immediately.

But the New Democrats opposed it, which delayed its passage for another four days.

– The Canadian Press