Ontario government ends York University strike with back-to-work legislation

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TORONTO — Ontario’s government has passed legislation to bring the nearly five-month-long strike at York University to an end.

An omnibus bill containing back-to-work legislation was introduced by the Progressive Conservatives last week and passed third reading late this afternoon.

The labour dispute at the Toronto university started on March 5. It saw 3,000 contract faculty and graduate teaching and research assistants walk off the job over issues of wages and job security.

Labour Minister Laurie Scott says the bill ensures the school and union will now enter into binding interest arbitration and get the school’s 45,000 students back to class in time for the fall.

Scott says the strike is believed to have been the longest ever at a Canadian university.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents the workers, has said it would consider launching a legal challenge if back-to-work legislation was used to end the strike.

The Canadian Press