Jan 28 2009

Hon. Howard Hampton Questions Dalton McGuinty

Category: Strike Discussion (2008-09)Bob Hanke @ 8:17 pm

The following is an excerpt from today’s debate in the Ontario Legislative Assembly regarding the York University labour dispute:

Mr. Howard Hampton: My question is to the Premier. Yesterday morning I asked the Premier to call the president of York University and ask him to go back to the bargaining table. I understand that the Premier did call the president of York University and asked him to go back to the bargaining table and engage in good-faith bargaining. Could the Premier tell the Legislature how much progress has been made as a result of his telephone call to the president of York University?

Hon. Dalton McGuinty: I did in fact speak with the president to make it clear to him that there was still the option open to him to sit down and continue to negotiate. I understand that the university put out a release and addressed that and said they were not prepared to do that.

I understand that my friend is very interested in pursuing the negotiating dimension of this: what one party said and what the other party said and how they responded to each other and so on and so forth. I just think we bring a different perspective here on this side of the House.

I think the general public is saying, “Look, we understand there’s something called collective bargaining. But do you know what? This has gone on too long. It’s failing our students. We’ve got to get them back in the classroom.” So that’s the position that we’re taking. I’m just not going to get involved in the minutiae of trying to get people together and knocking heads together. It has failed us. I recognize that. What we’re doing is what needs to be done. We’ve brought in a bill, we want to get it passed, and we want to get the students back in the classroom.

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): Supplementary?

Mr. Howard Hampton: I ask the question because I think the response from the president of York University was pretty clear: It’s “screw you,” to students-

The Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bruce Crozier): I’d ask the member to just temper the language a bit.

Mr. Howard Hampton: I think this raises the question, how much evidence does the Premier need that the president of York University and the administration of York University never intended to engage in meaningful collective bargaining? They have used every dodge, every manoeuvre, every strategy, to avoid a negotiated collective agreement.

My question is this: Does the Premier really believe that the McGuinty government should reward this kind of conduct by the administration of York University?

To read the rest of this exchange, click Howard Hampton Questions Dalton McGuinty.Jan 28 2009

To read the complete Hansard transcripts of today’s proceedings, click Legislative Assembly of Ontario Hansard Transcripts Jan 28 2009


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