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Custodial and maintenance workers at York University, members of CUPE 1356, yesterday voted 99.6% in support of strike action if they are not able to achieve a fair collective agreement by the legal strike/lockout deadline in early November.

York University set this in motion when they decided to request a no-board report and threaten us with a lockout,” said Jack McCann, president of CUPE 1356.  “This is the first time in our 37-year history that our local has had to take a strike vote and our members came out in large numbers to give us an overwhelming mandate.”

The university has put concessions on the table and has offered less in benefits than was negotiated with the York University Staff Association, McCann said, noting that the almost 400 members of CUPE 1356 are angry that the administration is spending money for an outside lawyer to negotiate instead of using the funds to improve their offer.

The two parties are scheduled to meet again in mediation on November 7.  Meanwhile, CUPE 3903, representing contract faculty and teaching assistants, returns to the bargaining table with York University tomorrow.