Tuition credit for students affected by York University strike

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Starting this week, York University started offering tuition credit options to students who withdrew from the fall/winter semester because of the ongoing strike.

The tuition credit allows students to retake dropped courses or pick up a new course anytime before the end of 2019 with no additional costs.

Other options include bursaries up to $1,500 for students who’ve been impacted financially or those who have had to make changes to travel arrangements.

Nearly 3,000 contract faculty and teaching assistants at York University have been off the job since March 5.

Following more than six months of bargaining over 29 different sessions between York University and CUPE 3903 and into the eighth week of the strike; April 23 marked the beginning of a more formal phase of the provincial government’s Industrial Inquiry Commission (IIC) in which the parties made formal submissions on the key matters in dispute and the underlying principles at issue at the Commissioner’s request.

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As of now the union has proposed that 30 contract faculty get full-time positions in each year of the collective agreement, with 20 of those jobs being tenured-stream positions that would be filled without an “open collegial search,” which is the current practice in universities across Canada.

York’s statement also added that the counter-offer proposed a 3.5 per cent wage increase per year, which it claims is roughly double the Ontario university average increase.

Contract workers at York University have taken to the picket lines for the second time in three years.

Around 3,000 contract faculty, along with teaching, research and graduate assistants, are taking part in the job action, which was set into motion when CUPE 3903 members rejected the university’s latest offer Friday.

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The union is demanding better job security; better funding for assistant positions; improved equity and accessibility in the workplace; and for the school to replace at least some of the 800 jobs that were recently cut.

Meanwhile it is the students who have suffered the most with their school year disrupted. – CINEWS

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