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Pickets increase at U of T; most classes set to resume at York U

University of Toronto teaching assistants are escalating their picketing after failing to reach a deal with the university to end the strike.

Picketers began setting up at all three entrances of the university’s Mississauga campus, in the Mississauga Road and Dundas Street West area, early on Tuesday with plans to stay all day.

“Disruption is the only option that we have right now,” Craig Smith a political science PhD candidate and spokesperson for the union told CityNews from the picket lines.

Smith said the union, CUPE 3902, will shut down the campus with hard pickets and offer information pickets to cars, with delays of five to 15 minutes expected for each car.

The University and union remain in constant contact with the provincial mediator and hope to return to bargaining soon, according to a statement from the university.

The union is “ready to sit at the table,” Smith said. “But the university doesn’t want to play ball.”

The University and union remain in constant contact with the provincial mediator and hope to return to bargaining soon, according to a statement from the university.

According to Smith that offer from the school was $22,500 less than the offer the union rejected on Feb. 27 to begin the strike. A counter-offer from the union was rejected by the university administration, Smith said.

“As of yesterday the university administration turned down an offer that would have cost them $600,000 over 3.8 years, which is a very paltry sum in comparison to their entire budget,” Smith said.

Undergraduate students growing weary of what impact the strike might have should remember the TAs are students, too, Smith said.

“We would rather be in the library, we would rather be teaching, we would rather be doing our field work. We would rather not be out here picketing.”

 

 

 

Classes resume at York

In the meantime, York University has announced most classes will resume within a week despite the ongoing strike by teaching and graduate assistants.

Janice Walls, York U’s Advisor and Deputy Spokesperson says that 60 per cent of students can resume their studies as of Tuesday.

According to York U Provost Rhonda Lenton, the school’s Senate Executive decided on Monday that the following faculties will resume on Tuesday:

  • School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design
  • Faculty of Education
  • Glendon
  • Faculty of Health classes not already resumed
  • Faculty of Science

As well, classes for the following Faculties will resume on March 23:

  • Faculty of Environmental Studies
  • Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies classes not already resumed.

Some faculties, including nursing, resumed last week following the CUPE 3903 vote in which contract staff approved a new deal and returned to work.

School officials said that due to the strike some tutorials and labs associated with these and other courses may not be active.

The exam schedule will also start one week later than originally planned for most courses.

For a complete list of returning classes click here.

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