Jan 30 2009

86 Days Later, President Shoukri says Strike Issues are “System Wide” and Admits York Lawyers Rejected Collective Bargaining Process

Category: Strike Discussion (2008-09)Bob Hanke @ 12:48 pm

Rewind:  On October 16, 2007, Jessica Verb of the Globe and Mail asked President Mamdouh Shoukri  “What are your first impressions of York?”  Shoukri responded:

Well it’s an absolutely wonderful university. It’s a university that has been committed, since its incipience, to excellence in education and in research. It’s been particularly committed to inter-disciplinary education and research, which is a very important feature. It has also committed itself from day one to accessibility and social justice, and in some sense that is what attracted me to the university, as these are core values I believe in on a personal level.

by Elizabeth Church and Karen Howlett (excerpted from the Globe and Mail, January 29, 2009)

TORONTO — York University president Mamdouh Shoukri says the labour strife that shut down the Toronto campus for three months is a sign of larger problems that need to be addressed at the provincial level.

Just hours after back-to-work legislation was passed by the Ontario government and routine activity began to return to the sprawling campus, Dr. Shoukri said questions of funding and the use of contract faculty extend beyond the country’s third largest university.

So, too, does the question of protecting the rights of students and institutional integrity while preserving the principle of collective bargaining, he said.

To read the rest of this article, click here.


In a related article in today’s Toronto Star, President Shoukri admits that after Premier McGuinty asked him to return to the bargaining table on Tuesday, but the university’s lawyers advised Shoukri to refuse to negotiate any further with CUPE 3903. This runs counter to the the principle of collective bargaining at York University, and, under Ontario Labour Relations Law, indicates that the President breached the duty to bargain in good faith.

“We had credible legal opinion that to go back to the table could undermine the process of back-to-work legislation,” said Shoukri yesterday, the first day he granted one-on-one interviews since the strike began Nov. 6.

To read this rest of York U. president denies he was M.I.A., click here.


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