Nearly 3,000 academic workers at York University are on strike after their union said the university didn’t meet their demand to “address the affordability crisis.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3903, which represents contract faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, research assistants and part-time librarians, says picket lines went up at 11 a.m. Academic workers were joined by faculty members and other workers and students for a rally outside a campus subway station.

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On its website, the university said its top priority is supporting students and their learning. 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.”

Erin McIntosh, a spokesperson for the CUPE local 3903, says the striking workers are struggling with high increases in the cost of basic needs, including housing and food.

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, she adds.

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