This morning, ASSU council adopted a motion put forward by the executive in regards to the current labour dispute between CUPE 3902 and the University of Toronto. As such, the union is now calling on the university to provide a greater number of negotiating dates so that the two sides can produce a contract that fairly compensates teaching assistants, sessional instructors and other members of CUPE 3902. We believe that this is the best way to avoid a strike. As an undergraduate academic union, we believe that a strike is not in our members’ best interests. That said, teaching assistants and sessional instructors have valid grievances that need to be addressed.
When sessional instructors and teaching assistants are provided with good working conditions, it in turn positively affects our educational experience. Currently, the union has been working without a contract since April 2014. The university only first agreed to meet this past July. After months of stalled negotiations, CUPE 3902 requested a mediator from the province in December. Since the meditator has been brought in, the union has met once with the university in January and plans to meet with them on Feb 20th and 25th. A strike deadline has been set for Feb 26th if no agreement has been reached. The union has called upon the university to meet more often, and we are echoing this call. Our semester is at stake and we believe it is integral that the university show good faith and negotiate to bring this labour dispute to an end – not only to avoid a strike but also to produce better working conditions for our TAs and sessional instructors.
Unfortunately, while the union has been proactive in communicating with students, we have heard little from the university itself. We extended an invitation to the university to send a representative to our most recent council meeting, which they declined. We encourage our students to get in contact with the university (see e-mail below) to find out more about the current labour dispute and to ask Simcoe Hall to engage with CUPE 3092.
As always, ASSU will keep you updated on any developments that occur.
Yours in solidarity,
The ASSU Executive
You can e-mail:
Vice President, HR and Equity
University of Toronto