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Job security, the high cost of living and workplace equity are issues that could lead to a strike at York University at the end of October, says the union representing 3,200 teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty.

CUPE 3903 has requested a no-board report from the government-appointed conciliator, setting the stage for a possible strike or lockout at the end of the month. The union will conduct strike votes next week.

We have been negotiating two days a week for the last two months and have made very little progress,” said Graham Potts, the union’s chief negotiator.   “We want to reach a fair collective agreement so our members can focus on their teaching duties. We’re telling our employer it’s time to get serious.”

Key issues in negotiations include job security for contract faculty, employment and workplace equity, tuition fees and compensation for graduate students, who often live below the poverty level.