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U of T contract education workers are ready to strike

Pam Johnson

March 29, 2021
U of T contract education workers, members of CUPE 3902 Unit 1, are ready to strike after the administration has refused to negotiate on key issues - some exacerbated by the pandemic and remote working conditions.  
The main demands are paid sick days for every worker in the unit, recognition and reduction of workload, paid training, and community-appropriate alternatives to campus police. 
Teaching remotely was thrust upon both faculty and students when the pandemic shut down campus a year ago. Faculty scrambled with few resources to shift to teaching on-line. This transition and the fact that teaching on-line is more time consuming has not been recognized by the university. As well, long standing issues including workers in some job categories without paid sick days, is a key demand made more critical during the pandemic. 
The workers voted over 90% for a strike mandate in an historic turnout of 3,000 members. 
The campus is shut down because of the pandemic, so to get their message to the public, CUPE 3902 set up information pickets in several places in the city to show their readiness to strike if U of T does not negotiate seriously. A worker on the information picket at St. Clair and Bathurst said, ‘The members of our unit do a majority of the undergraduate teaching at U of T. If we strike, classes won’t happen.” 
A worker talked about being inspired when the Quebec students went on strike in 2012. She said,’ We aren’t just doing this for ourselves, it is for the students and for the people who come after us.’ Another worker said, 'Striking is already a form of solidarity with all workers and with the labour movement, which we need to grow more than ever right now, as the only viable path toward (re)building a mass movement of the left.’ 
To find out how to bring solidarity to these CUPE 3902 go to:
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