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(Toronto) Management negotiators for York University have chosen to extend the strike by 2,600 teaching staff by breaking off talks - in complete disregard for the welfare of undergraduate students.

CUPE 3903, which represents the striking TAs, GAs and Contract Faculty at York, remains committed to negotiating a fair and just contract and to saving the term.

Says Local 3903 President Joseph Kispal-Kovacs, York administration has plainly stated they will not return to the negotiating table unless CUPE 3903 substantially reduces its bargaining position - a demand that clearly places rigid conditions on the bargaining process.

The union, however, remains committed to negotiating and we are hopeful the administration will remove its bargaining restrictions and return to the table, says the CUPE president.

The CUPE 3903 bargaining team has been meeting with the administration on a regular basis for the past three weeks. York Administrations bargaining team has not altered their position on any of the major issues on the table, despite the fact that CUPE has made a number of reductions in its demands.

Faced with consistent stonewalling, the CUPE bargaining team decided to take Sunday, November 25th to reassess the situation, and to meet with the CUPE executive. Contrary to the misrepresentations on the York University web site, CUPE proposed a meeting on Monday, November 26th with the administrations bargaining team. Unfortunately, they have decided to respond by breaking off talks.

Says Kispal-Kovacs, We hope that they will return to the table, start talking seriously, and cease using misleading and inflammatory public statements to mask their complete intransigence.

CUPE 3903 has been on strike since October 26, 2000, and is fighting for affordable and accessible education for graduate students and secure working conditions for contract faculty.

For information:
Joseph Kispal-Kovacs, President, CUPE Local 3903
(416) 877-2103 (Cell)
Michelle Lowry, Local 3903 Communications Cte.
(416) 877-2109 (Cell)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(416) 292-3999 (o)

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