Media Availability - U of T TAs and supporters will discuss strike mandate

    TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - NDP Education Critic Rosario Marchese and
Canadian Federation of Students Ontario Chairperson Shelley Melanson will join
representatives of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 at Hart House at 10 a.m., Thursday,
December 11 to announce the results of a strike vote by teaching assistants,
student instructors, lab demonstrators and invigilators at the University of
    "Despite a difficult economic climate and an ongoing strike at York
University, our members came out to send a message to the U of T
administration: we don't want to strike, but we will," said Rebecca Sanders,
chief spokesperson for the CUPE 3902 bargaining committee. "Our members are
looking for a modest increase in our combination of work and funding to move
us closer to what U of T itself has described as a minimum living wage in
Toronto of $18,000 per year."
    The union is also seeking public health care coverage for international
students, who currently pay out-of-pocket for private, for-profit coverage,
and decreases in class and tutorial size. More than 5,000 university workers
have been without a contract since April 30.
    "Class and tutorial size are out of control at this university," said
Sandy Hudson, president of the University of Toronto Students' Union,
representing 41,000 full-time undergraduate students. "Tutorials of 70 to 100
students and classes of over 1500 are not a tenable learning environment.
Nobody wants a strike, but students and university employees have to stand
together to defend accessible education. We support our TAs for trying to do

    WHO:      CUPE 3902 bargaining team, NDP Education Critic Rosario
              Marchese, Canadian Federation of Students Ontario Chairperson
              Shelley Melanson, undergraduate and graduate student union

    WHAT:     Announce and discuss results of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 strike vote

    WHEN:     10 a.m., Thursday, December 11, 2008

    WHERE:    Hart House Debates Room, 2nd floor, 7 Hart House Circle,
              University of Toronto

For further information:

For further information: Rebecca Sanders, Chief Spokesperson, CUPE 3902
Unit 1 Bargaining Committee, (647) 225-3902; Chantal Sundaram, CUPE 3902 Staff
Representative, (647) 223-3902

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