Media Releases

Statement from President Meric Gertler re: CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Strike

March 25, 2015

TORONTO, ON — The past sev­er­al weeks have been a trou­bling time for all of us.

Fac­ul­ty, staff and stu­dents have been respect­ful of the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing process and both CUPE 3902 Unit 1 and the Uni­ver­si­ty have tried to arrive at a set­tle­ment to end the strike. Both sides have worked hard to find a deal. And yet today, after almost four weeks of the strike, we are at an impasse.

Two issues remain as con­stant and crit­i­cal needs for our com­mu­ni­ty.

Pre­serv­ing the aca­d­e­m­ic year for all of our stu­dents, and end­ing this strike in a respect­ful and civ­il way.

We feel now is the time to take a new approach. We have spo­ken to the Provin­cial Medi­a­tor, and through the Medi­a­tor, to the lead­er­ship of the union, and today I am call­ing upon the union to join us in agree­ing to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion.

Under this process, an inde­pen­dent, neu­tral third par­ty, appoint­ed by the Provin­cial Medi­a­tor, would arbi­trate all mat­ters that remain in dis­pute and deter­mine a final res­o­lu­tion that both par­ties would have to accept.

Agree­ing to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion would also mean an effec­tive and imme­di­ate end to the strike.

Today, I am call­ing on the lead­er­ship of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 to agree to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion. Time is of the essence as we enter into the final weeks of the semes­ter and pre­pare for crit­i­cal year-end exams for our stu­dents.

Let us agree to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion, and let us agree to end the strike, in a way that is respect­ful of all our stu­dents – grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate – and our fac­ul­ty.

I believe this pro­pos­al is in keep­ing with a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. It reflects the best val­ues of our aca­d­e­m­ic com­mu­ni­ty – work­ing col­le­gial­ly and respect­ful­ly, and putting the inter­ests of our stu­dents first.

Final­ly, let me acknowl­edge that this has been a stress­ful time for stu­dents.

We appre­ci­ate your patience and your deter­mi­na­tion to con­tin­ue your stud­ies.

I remain hope­ful that we can both agree to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion as a way to end this strike now.

Thank you.


Video from today’s press con­fer­ence:

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Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to