The return of 5,000 students to York University’s strikebound campus yesterday did little to appease finance professor Kee Hong Bae.
“It’s ridiculous,” Bae said of the nearly three-month-long strike by members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3903 — the third in a decade to paralyze the university. “If they (the union) continue to strike like this, I just may leave, look for another job.”
Spirits were low throughout the campus as it slowly stirred awake yesterday. Students said they felt torn — relieved to see their own crisis resolved, but angry that their friends remained in limbo and worried about the aftermath of the strike. Picketers at the university’s main gate said they struggled to stay motivated in the face of back-to-work legislation, which threatens to quash their efforts.
Premier Dalton McGuinty called the Ontario legislature back this weekend for a rare Sunday session to send employees back to work, but the New Democrats voted against the bill, prolonging the stoppage for at least a few more days.
In the Schulich lobby, Rupika Sharma tackled a textbook for an 11:30 a.m. economics class.
Though ready and glad to be back, the second-year student said she disapproves of the process that allowed her and her peers to return.
“For me personally, it’s good; for the overall picture, it’s bad,” said Sharma, 19, noting rising resentment among the 45,000 students still barred from the classrooms.
She predicted tensions would only increase once back-to-work legislation takes effect.
“The students are not in a good mood, the TAs are not in a good mood — how will the teaching take place?”
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