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Premier looks to solve York crisis

Premier Dalton McGuinty, stung by accusations of fumbling the York University strike, says the government is exploring a new commission that would intervene when campus labour disputes are getting out of hand.

Premier Dalton McGuinty, stung by accusations of fumbling the York University strike, says the government is exploring a new commission that would intervene when campus labour disputes are getting out of hand.

A commission won’t help the nearly 45,000 York University students still not in class, said Sid Ryan, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who added that if back-to-work legislation passes today or tomorrow, CUPE may take court action on the basis that it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

“If we pursue it, the strike will be prolonged,” Ryan told a news conference at Queen’s Park yesterday. “We don’t want to go down that road.” There was no “deadlock” in the talks, he said.

Mediator Reg Pearson was brought in last week to bring a quick settlement to the three-month strike, but informed the premier early Saturday that negotiation was not possible.

CUPE Local 3903 wanted to keep bargaining, but it was York who stopped and refused to continue, he said.

NDP Leader Howard Hampton phoned McGuinty early yesterday and urged him to call York president Mamdouh Shoukri to get him back to the table. McGuinty then encouraged Shoukri to do so while back-to-work legislation makes its way through the legislature.

 
 
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