TORONTO, March 5, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, students from across the GTA and Ottawa will be joining the picket lines at York University and Carleton University to support CUPE 3903 and CUPE 2424 academic workers who have been fighting for fair wages and improved working conditions. Local 3903 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3903) represents teaching assistants, graduate assistants and part-time faculty at York University and Local 2424 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 2424) represents administrative, technical and library staff at Carleton University. The Federation calls upon the administration of both York University and Carleton University to immediately return to the table and resume bargaining for better collective agreements.
As of the morning of March 5, CUPE 3903 and CUPE 2424 commenced strike actions at their respective universities, as members of each local voted to reject final offers made at the bargaining table. Chronic underfunding of post-secondary education poses a challenge to both students and workers. For years, as tuition fees have continued to skyrocket, there has been little accountability or support from the government or institution administrations, while class sizes increase dramatically and the quality of education decreases.
"Providing academic labourers with job security, fair living wages and pensions is crucial in fostering high-quality post-secondary education," said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Many Teaching Assistants, contract faculty, administrative, technical and library workers are students themselves or recent graduates who are burdened by high levels of debt."
"The provincial government introduced Bill 148 last year to create fair workplaces and better jobs. This is exactly what contract faculty and staff are asking for – equal pay for equal work. The universities must make every attempt to meet these demands and return to the table to continue bargaining in good faith."
"We encourage all students and workers on these campuses to stand in solidarity and respect the picket lines set out by CUPE 3903 and CUPE 2424," said Alideeb. "It is imperative for us to recognize that their working conditions are our learning conditions."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the largest and oldest student organization in Ontario, representing more than 350,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario