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CUPE 3902 strike: students and workers united

March 6, 2015

For the second day in a row, hundreds marched to support the strike of CUPE 3902 at UofT, and to give solidarity to the CUPE 3903 strike at York and the CUPE 3799 strike at UNBC.
While yesterday showed the labour solidarity with striking Teaching Assistants and Course Instructors, today's rally and march was organized by students. "This is one of the best institutions in the world, why are teachers living in poverty? That's shameful," said Yolen Bollo-Kamara, president of the UofT Students Union. The rally was organized by UTSU and endorsed by more than a dozen student organizations.
Alistair Woods brought solidarity from the Canadian Federation of Students: "What's disgusting is that the University of Toronto pays poverty wages to its teachers. They say they can't afford it, though they have a surplus. They say the can't afford it, though they can damn well afford to pay administrators for than the Premier of Ontario. And what is more disgusting is when students and teachers are out here day after day in the bitter cold fighting for better working and learning conditions, UofT has the gall to not even show up to the bargaining table.
The rally also heard solidarity from a member of CUPE 3903 on strike at York, a member of the Graduate Students Association, a student from Ottawa, and members of the Liberals and NDP (including Linda McQuaig who recounted previous student struggles at UofT that used protests and occupations to win).
The UofT administation has claimed that it is "business as usual" during the strike. But as Ryan Culpepper from CUPE 3902 explained, "What is business as usual? Business as usual is packed classes that make it difficult and unsafe to teach. Business as usual is allocating resources to the adminstration while teachers get less. Business as usual is seeing students and teachers as cash cows. Business as usual is the problem, and business as usual is over. We will stay out on the picket lines as long as it takes."
Meanwhile strike support is growing for CUPE 3903 at York, with a picket line support and rally next monday, 7:30-9am at the Main Gate of York University, 4700 Keele Street.

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