Monday, January 26, 2009

Ontario Federation of Labour statement on York back to work legislation.

Original here.
Withdraw back-to-work legislation, OFL tells Ontario government
(TORONTO) -- The Ontario government must change its course of action in the York University strike, says the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

Meeting in Toronto today, the OFL executive board said the government should withdraw its back-to-work legislation, and facilitate a return of management and union representatives to the bargaining table.

In 19 of 20 cases, labour and management bargain collective agreements without a strike. To end a strike without addressing its causes is to invite returns and repeats of what led to the disruption of service in the first place, says OFL president Wayne Samuelson.

“Universities are underfunded, and it’s unreasonable to think that ending the York strike will end the conflict over inadequate pay and job security for teaching staff at Ontario universities,” says Samuelson. “The collective bargaining process is not the problem, and back-to-work legislation is not the solution.”

CUPE Local 3903 represents contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants who have been on the strike since November 6.
Samuelson makes a good point. Back to work legislation won't solve anything. Even if York gets its three-year agreement, then in three years, we'll go through this all over again. Nothing is going to be solved by this -- all the institutional problems at York that lead to protracted labour disputes will still exist. And, as has been said very eloquently by the ONDP, the problems in Ontario higher education are now going to be swept under the rug. Again.

Well done, Dalton.

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