As you probably have heard, CUPE 3092 Unit 1 (the union representing all University of Toronto TAs) will be holding a strike vote next week.
We, the officers of UTMAGS, would like every UTM graduate student to go to the polls next week and vote YES.
By voting YES on a strike provision, we are actually **less likely to go on strike**. A strong YES vote shows the university that we are serious about the negotiation issues, and that if they do not start cooperating we will go on strike. Often (12/15 times in the history of the union) the university cooperates and we **do not** go on strike.
If negations continue to break down, then we will go on strike. Due to the structure of the bargaining process, and if we were to strike it would not occur until *next semester*.
We know that you’ve all received lots of material from CUPE lately about the negotiations concerning our Collective Agreement (aka. our contract). Here’s a condensed version of some of the big issues:
1) The university wants to eliminate all graduate student guaranteed funding packages. If you are in a funded cohort (research stream), then bye bye funding.
2) The university has eliminated the Doctoral Completion Grant. This was money distributed to 5th and 6th year PhD students on the verge of completing their degrees. If you take more than 4/5 years to complete your degree, then you are completely out of luck and have to pay tuition out of pocket. The union wants to reinstate this fund, in the form of a 50% tuition waiver for 5/6th year PhD students.
3) The university wants to decrease fellowship money, and increase the number of TA hours we have to work to complete our funding packages. This means we will have to work more than 140 hours, but still receive the same amount of funding in the end.
4) The union wants to cap tutorial size at 50 students. Sick of how giant tutorials are decreasing the quality of education? We are too.
Polling stations will be set up in the Meeting Place, from 12:00-2:00 pm from November 23rd-29th.
To vote all you need to do is show up (CUPE has a digital list of all TA’s, so no member card is necessary).
There will be a general CUPE meeting on Tuesday, November 22nd from 5:00-8:00 pm in the Hart House Debates Room. If you have any other questions, feel free to email the union at firstname.lastname@example.org, or us at email@example.com.
Cheers, and vote YES!