York University has raised the stakes in negotiations with the union representing custodial, maintenance and other service workers by requesting a “no-board” report from the government-appointed conciliator.
The move sets the stage for the university administration to lock out almost 400 members of CUPE 1356 in early November or force them into a strike for a fair contract.
“We are extremely disappointed that our employer is pushing us toward this deadline,” said Jack McCann, president of CUPE 1356. “Just over a week ago, after a month of bargaining, they tabled major concessions that our members simply cannot accept.”
If the university would apply the money they are spending on a lawyer to lead their negotiations to benefit improvements and withdraw the concessions, they might be able to avert a strike, he said.
“The employer is being unreasonable. They refuse to give us the same deal they signed with the York University Staff Association (YUSA). They would rather threaten us with a lockout to try to force concessions on the workers who keep the university clean, safe and operating smoothly for all the members of the York community.”
The union local will conduct a strike vote next Sunday, October 26, McCann said.