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Thousands of academic workers at York University go on strike

TORONTO — About 3,000 academic workers at York University have gone on strike today after their union said the university didn't meet their demand to "address the affordability crisis."

The union representing contract faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, research assistants and part-time librarians says picket lines are expected to go up at 11 a.m., when academic workers will be joined by faculty members and other workers and students for a rally outside a campus subway station.

The university in north Toronto says on its website that its top priority is supporting students and their learning, and courses and academic activities in progress will continue to be delivered by instructors if possible.

York says contingency plans for "all aspects of university operations are in place."

A spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3903, Erin McIntosh, says the striking workers are struggling with high increases in the cost of basic needs, including housing and food.

She says the wages of educational workers at York University have been falling behind the rise in the cost of living and workers are forced to take on second or third jobs to make ends meet.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2024.

The Canadian Press