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To: University of Toronto

University of Toronto: Bring Student Workers Above the Poverty Line

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Campaign created by
Joe Curnow
University of Toronto: Bring Student Workers Above the Poverty Line

Raise the minimum funding package from $15,000 to $23,000 (which is the poverty line for a family of 1 in large cities according to Statistics Canada). Bring us out of poverty!

Why is this important?

On Friday, Feb. 27th, union members overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement from UofT that did not increase the funding package and instead offered a wage "increase" that was far from keeping up with inflation.

Teaching assistants, course instructors, and sessional faculty at the University of Toronto do 60% of the teaching, but earn only 3.5% of the budget. We deserve better.

Our working conditions are students' learning conditions. We aren't at our best-- as students or as teachers-- when we are up late worried about paying the bills. Let us focus on the work we love doing- teaching!

University of Toronto is Canada's largest university. The success of our efforts impacts teaching assistants, sessionals, and course instructors across the country. Help us send a message that no student workers or sessional (adjunct) faculty should live in poverty!

We are now on strike and hoping for a fast resolution so we can get out of the cold and back to teaching- but we are willing to strike as long as it takes!

How it will be delivered

Once the University of Toronto agrees to meet with us, our bargaining team will be able to present the signatures, demonstrating widespread support for student workers in the fight to get out of poverty!


Reasons for signing

  • The minimum funding package is simply inadequate for living in Toronto. Graduate student TAs perform significant teaching and research labour for the university, and it is shameful that they are paid so far below the poverty line. (Especially since the funding package is often only available for 4 years, and average PhD completion time is well above that).
  • SFU is about to be in the same positon
  • TA's DESERVE MORE

Updates

2015-03-07 17:54:16 -0500

Day 6 and we had picketers out (on a Saturday!) in addition to the International Women's Day March.
Still nothing from the employer.

2015-03-07 13:42:14 -0500

Day 5 pickets continue to gain momentum. Undergraduates planned a huge rally and we were so proud to join them in demanding a funding package that is above the poverty line. Our working conditions are their learning conditions and we are in this together.

UofT still refuses to bargain, so our members are starting to plan for the long haul.

2015-03-06 07:58:17 -0500

Day 4 on the picket line was very cold, but our members are still on fire. We started collecting undergrad signatures on paper for this petition and gathered hundreds. We really appreciate the support!

(Still waiting for UofT to come back to the bargaining table)

2015-03-04 22:35:01 -0500

Day 3 and the University still refuses to come back to the bargaining table.
Today we had high energy pickets across campus. We marched across campus to Queen's Park and the Ontario Parliament.

2015-03-03 23:46:40 -0500

Day 2 of the strike and the University of Toronto refuses to come back to the bargaining table.
Our picket lines are growing despite the intense snow in the afternoon.
Great support from other unions, faculty, students, and staff at the university. One solidarity rally happened at OISE and another happened with York U on College. Solidarity rocks!

2015-03-02 23:05:50 -0500

CUPE3902 Unit 1 members hit the pavement for the first day of picketing. Across all 3 campuses, we talked with students, faculty, Members of Parliament, and community members about our experiences living below the poverty line and the precarity of our work.
No updates from our employer, UofT, but lots of misinformation about our funding levels circulating.

2015-03-02 18:03:31 -0500

1,000 signatures reached

2015-03-01 19:31:01 -0500

500 signatures reached

2015-02-28 23:01:02 -0500

100 signatures reached

2015-02-28 18:32:58 -0500

50 signatures reached

2015-02-28 17:36:58 -0500

25 signatures reached

2015-02-28 16:27:05 -0500

10 signatures reached