UFCW Canada stands in solidarity with striking instructors at York and University of Toronto


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Toronto – March 10, 2015 – Canada's leading and most progressive union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, is standing in full solidarity with striking teaching assistants (TAs), markers, graders and graduate student instructors at Ontario's two largest universities, York University and the University of Toronto.

CUPE 3902 and CUPE 3903 members on strike at the University of Toronto and York University are demanding a standard-of-living wage increase, as many of the teaching assistants and untenured staff, including graduate assistants and research assistants, often have to dedicate themselves to working extra hours, while being paid less than a living wage.

Approximately two-thirds of undergraduate courses at the two universities are taught by non-tenured instructors who are paid approximately $15,000 a year — well below the $19,307 poverty line for a single adult living in Toronto.

UFCW Canada activists who were scheduled to assist with a Students Against Migrant Exploitation (S.A.M.E.) presentation at York University as part of the 2015 S.A.M.E. tour, joined in a picket line rally to show their support for the striking workers.

UFCW Canada believes that the striking TAs and non-tenured staff deserve respect and need to be fairly compensated for their role in providing education. To find out the latest on the strikes, visit www.cupe3902.org and www.3903.cupe.ca.