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Guild urges York University president to settle with striking workers

Mamdouh Shoukri
President and Vice-Chancellor
York University

Dear Dr. Shoukri,

I am writing to urge you to move swiftly to negotiate a fair settlement with CUPE 3903. The Canadian Media Guild supports the teaching assistants, graduate assistants and contract faculty members who are on strike.

As president of a union that represents workers in the public sector, in our case public broadcasting, we understand very well the need ?for both union and management –to resist when the burden of public funding shortages is placed on to the backs of employees. You may recall that when our union was locked out by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2005, we faced many of the same issues that are at play in this strike. It’s up to both sides to find solutions, but you cannot do that when one side is out on the street.

Members of the Canadian Media Guild know first-hand that when knowledge workers have a strong sense of career security, they are much better positioned to provide truly independent information and research. And we all have an interest in high quality post-secondary education, with experienced teachers and assistants who are treated equitably and paid fairly.

I am also well aware that an organization’s president can step in and change the tone and content of any dispute ? if he or she chooses to do so. I urge you to do just that. Don’t listen to lawyers or bargaining “experts”, whether or not you feel this is your field of expertise. Do what you know is right for your university.


Lise Lareau
National President
Canadian Media Guild

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