TORONTO – By a margin of 1,101 to 992, striking education workers have voted to reject the University of Toronto’s most recent offer. The vote means a three-week long strike by Unit 1, Local 3902 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3902-1) will continue.
“Members of the bargaining team brought this offer to members with the belief it at least began to address the many issues we have raised in this round of bargaining. While we are very close to an agreement, the margin of votes shows that our members clearly feel the university has a ways to go to address those issues,” said Erin Black, chair of CUPE 3902.
While the proposed agreement included increases in minimum funding, it failed to address the structural issues that lead to poverty-level funding and precarious employment for the people who deliver more than half the instruction at U of T.
“No one who has been paying attention to what is happening here and elsewhere can disagree – structural change is needed to address the conditions education workers face at U of T and universities across Canada,” said Ryan Culpepper, CUPE 3902-1 vice-chair.
“Simply put, U of T needs to tell our members – in writing – what their per-member benefit will be under their proposal. I feel the members would be prepared to support an agreement that contained such an assurance from the employer,” Culpepper added.
The members of CUPE 3902-1 commenced strike action February 27. CUPE 3902-1 represents some 6,000 teaching assistants, teaching fellows, demonstrators, tutors, markers, instructors, teaching lab assistants, chief presiding officers, invigilators and part-time lecturers.
For more information, please contact:
CUPE 3902 Chair