A mass rally today showed that solidarity with the CUPE 3902 strike is growing.
“We’re being told constantly that it’s business as usual, and clearly it’s not,” said student organizer Liam Fox. As Erin Black, Chair of 3902 explained, “Until administration sits down with our bargaining team, stops encouraging strike-breaking tactics and threatening sanctions of the University of Toronto Students' Union for communicating strike-related information, students will not be getting the education they expect and deserve.”
Hundreds of faculty, emeriti and librarians from UofT have signed an open letter saying: “Graduate students are vital to our classrooms as teaching fellows, tutors, markers, instructors, laboratory assistants, exam invigilators, part-time lecturers, and small group leaders for large courses. The University simply cannot fulfill its educational mission without their work…We call on the University administration to commit to the bargaining table and provide a fairer funding package and better conditions for work and study.”
CUPE 3902 has also received endorsements and letters of support from dozens of professors at other universities, labour unions, student associations, community groups and prominent individuals—including Naomi Klein, who vowed to “not cross a picket line, especially at my alma mater.” NDP MP Dan Harris has also raised the issue in Parliament.
As ASSÉ, the Quebec student organization at the heart of the 2012 student strike, wrote, “University of Toronto and York University educational workers currently on strike are not only fighting for better quality of life and decent wages, but also against the corporatization of the university and a true recognition of their work…Our current campaign against austerity policies takes place with a spirit of international solidarity and an understanding that our struggles are your struggles, that the fight for public and inclusive postsecondary education travels across the country.”
Sign the petition, and join the Solidarity rally with York and UofT this Saturday, March 21, 1pm at Dundas Square