U of T’s courses have been impeded by the strike but the university refuses to meet with the bargaining team, The Medium has learned.

In an email yesterday evening, CUPE 3902 chair Erin Black said the bargaining team had heard back from its request to continue negotiations with U of T.

“The admin has responded that they do not plan to meet with us at this time,” she wrote.

Angela Hildyard, U of T’s VP human resources and equity, responded to The Medium‘s request for clarification by quoting a memo released today in which she writes, “We remain in contact with the provincial mediator regarding CUPE Unit 1 and are advised that as soon as he thinks there is a basis to return to the bargaining table he will invite the parties to do so.

“We have indicated that we are, of course, prepared to accept that invitation,” Hildyard adds.

Unit 3, representing staff hired under contracts of less than one year, voted on Monday to send its tentative agreement to a full membership vote. Black says the ratification vote is now underway.

“We will know by mid next week if Unit 3 has accepted that agreement or, if not, is also then on strike,” she said.

In the meantime, numerous labs and tutorials have been cancelled, and some lectures are also unable to meet.

For example, five courses in UTM’s Professional Writing and Communications Department are on hold because two of its instructors belong to Unit 1.

According to department head Professor Guy Allen, there has been little or no communication from the university on how to cope with less.

An article in The Toronto Star from Sunday reported that “a university spokeswoman said none of the striking workers are instructors in their own right”.

Bus routes also remain off-campus. Yesterday at about 12:30 p.m. a car collided with a relocated Sheridan shuttle bus on Mississauga and Collegeway. It is unclear whether the bus was outside its normal route at the time of the collision.

Unit 1, representing TAs, course instructors, invigilators, and other staff, began picketing on Monday after members voted down the tentative agreement reached between their bargaining team and U of T on Friday.

A website has since been launched to count the number of days since Unit 1’s last bargaining date with U of T.

The York campus is currently closed to a strike by their union, CUPE 3903, primarily over wages. York’s president Mahmoud Shoukri wrote in a statement today that “the compensation and other collective agreement improvements we are offering are highly competitive with, if not better than, recent settlements elsewhere”.

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