In an abrupt change of tone, the union representing striking teaching assistants and contract faculty at York University has declared it will not challenge a forthcoming back-to-work order from the provincial government.
In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, CUPE 3903 spokesperson Tyler Shipley said the local union has decided “not to pursue a legal challenge to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s back-to-work legislation at this time.”
“Our members have shown tremendous determination, but they are tired of waiting for York to take the process seriously,” said Shipley. “It is time for someone to take responsibility for getting campus life back to normal.”
More from CUPE 3903’s release:
The Liberal government should not imagine that back-to-work legislation resolves any of the key issues in the strike, particularly the reliance of universities on underpaid, contingent workers to do most classroom teaching.
“Our concerns are not going away, they are systemic and go well beyond the York campus,” noted Shipley, adding that the local will continue to address the trend to insecure teaching jobs, the need for minimum funding guarantees for graduate students, and the value of coordinated bargaining through other channels.
“These issues are still alive at York and across the province. We’ll be working with our sister locals to make sure they are addressed in ways that protect the interests of workers, students and hardworking parents who are being asked to shell out more tuition fees every year,” said [CUPE 3903 Chair Christina] Rousseau. “Unless administrators change their priorities and the Ontario government invests in our universities, they should brace themselves for more job actions in the coming years.”