Support 2021 Bargaining for iSchool TAs

On December 17, 2020, the Doctoral Students’ Association, alongside student contract educators of the Faculty of Information, held their first meeting discussing bargaining during the 2020/2021 academic year. As you may be aware CUPE’s Collective Agreement with the University of Toronto expires on December 31, 2020 and CUPE 3902 is engaged in bargaining for a new Collective Agreement. At this meeting a motion was moved and then passed unanimously to endorse the following letter and formally request that the Faculty of Information acknowledge receipt of, and endorse the following statement:

We, the undersigned, as professors, directors, and chairs in, or affiliated with the Faculty of Information acknowledge that Unit 1 of CUPE 3902 (Teaching Assistants, Course Instructors, and Invigilators) is beginning its bargaining process with the University of Toronto. We support our students’ mandate to demand a fair, safe, and equitable workplace at the University of Toronto. Specifically, we will 1) reject any policies of academic continuity passed by University administration, 2) not hire any contract labour to replace striking workers and 3) refuse to compel any students to perform educational labour independent of labour decisions made by the Union with financial compensation from budgetary lines that were not already dedicated to wages, or by use of threats to academic completion. By taking this stance, we acknowledge the importance of unionized student labour to its teaching operations and upholds their right to a good faith bargaining climate. We wish the Unit 1 employees of Faculty of Information an equitable bargaining round regardless of potential labour disruptions and will contribute to fostering such an environment.

As graduate student educators, we would greatly appreciate your support as we organize and bargain during this difficult time. We appreciate the support, formally and informally, that has been received during the COVID-19 pandemic. By endorsing this letter you are signalling that you support the efforts of CUPE 3902 to negotiate a fair deal for graduate student workers at the University of Toronto, and thus will help strengthen the bargaining process.

Furthermore, this will show an acknowledgement by an important Faculty at the University of Toronto that its members are bargaining with a platform in compliance with current Bill-124 regulations that minimize the ability of the union to bargain for significant gains. Such support recognizes the new bargaining reality in a way that fosters faith in the employer’s commitment to bargain in good faith. Once again, we believe the Faculty of Information can lead by example by advocating for an equitable university.

Doctoral Students Association (DSA)    Contact the author of the petition

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