TORONTO, March 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Hundreds of students are petitioning the University of Toronto administration to refund their tuition fees in the wake of the ongoing CUPE 3902 strike. These students are frustrated that the University of Toronto has yet to even meet with CUPE 3902 since the strike began to negotiate a fair deal and a quick end to the labour action.
"We are affected by this strike, we have had classes cancelled and are being starved of the education we've paid for," said Victoria McKenzie, an undergraduate student who started the campaign. "We have the right to demand a refund. We are not getting the quality education we deserve, so we want our money back."
Full-time undergraduate students at the University of Toronto pay over $6,000 in tuition fees. Part-time course instructors who are currently on strike teach many of these students. Undergraduate students' education is also supported by tutorials and labs taught by workers who are currently on strike. "I am frustrated that after 11 days of our education being interrupted, the University of Toronto still has not met with CUPE 3902," said Yolen Bollo-Kamara, President of the University of Toronto Students' Union. "Over 65,000 undergraduate students are being affected. If they are going to refuse to meet the Union, they should refund the tuition fees of undergrads and stop using us as pawns in their labour strategy."
Members of CUPE 3902 are in support of the call by undergraduate students for a refund. "As members of the student community who expect the university administration to honour its commitments, we support the tuition refund initiative," said Craig Smith, of the CUPE 3902 Strike Committee. "We're all affected by the university's intransigence. The university should be held to account." In previous labour disputes, students at York University and the University of New Brunswick received partial tuition fee refunds from their university administrations.
The University of Toronto Students' Union represents 50,000 undergraduate students at the University of Toronto.
SOURCE University of Toronto Students' Union
For further information: Yolen Bollo-Kamara, President, University of Toronto Students' Union: 647-287-4291, [email protected]; Sandra Hudson, Executive Director, University of Toronto Students' Union: 416-722-8842