The Graduate Student Organizing Committee at NYU (GSOC-UAW Local 2110) stands in solidarity with our fellow graduate employees at York University (CUPE 3903) and the University of Toronto (CUPE 3902) as they continue their strikes for fair contracts.
What CUPE 3903 is fighting for, including tuition rebates, enhancing benefits, increased funding and compensation, and job security are more than reasonable, while demands such as employment equity for LGBTQ workers and capping class sizes are vital for any academic workplace. It is clear that the university can afford to provide its graduate employees with a fair contract. Only eight percent of York University’s total operating budget is allocated for graduate employees, despite the fact that they are responsible for over half of all the teaching at York. The onus lies entirely on the university administration to meet the needs of its graduate employees and offer them a fair contract.
At the University of Toronto, graduate workers are striking for increases in a funding package that, as it currently stands, places them well below the poverty line in Toronto. CUPE 3902 has demonstrated its good faith in bargaining, even offering to meet their employer any time of day or night on short notice in order to resolve their labour dispute. The U of T runs because graduate workers make it run, and by refusing them a living wage the university administration disdains its students and neglects its academic and educational mission. It is the clear responsibility of the University of Toronto to provide adequate funds to its graduate employees and resume bargaining in good faith.
In our recently concluded contract campaign, we were also prepared to strike for the needs of our graduate employees, and recognize the importance of securing these basic provisions for academic workers. Our support and solidarity go out to the striking graduate workers at York University and the University of Toronto, and we urge the administrations of these universities take the necessary steps to negotiate a fair contract.
Membership of GSOC-UAW Local 2110