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Ottawa–With the influx of the double cohort looming, the “misguided Carleton University administration is poisoning labour relations by refusing to address the valid concerns teaching assistants have regarding the increase in class size and rising tuition fees.

“At this critical time when universities should be working in cooperation with staff and finding solutions on how best to deal with the double cohort students, Carleton is opting for confrontation, asking for concession from workers and forcing a strike,” says CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan.

The 1200 teaching assistants who are members of CUPE Local 4600 have set a strike deadline of January 15. Carleton University and CUPE 4600 have been in negotiations for a new collective agreement since July of 2002.

A rally in support of the teaching assistants will be held on Thursday, January 9 at 12 noon, the Azrieli Theatre, room 102, Carleton University. Ryan will be among the guest speakers at the rally.

“The fact that the university refuses to talk about the impacts of increasing class sizes on teaching assistants is unbelievably short-sighted. Not only is this wrong-headed attitude short-changing teaching assistants who do more than 40 per cent of the teaching at the university, it is also short-changing the quality of education that will be provided to the largest number of students to attend Carleton.

“The teaching assistants want to avert a strike. They want to resolve the key outstanding issues of class size limits and tuition protection. But the administration appears determined to treat teaching assistants like sweatshop labour and throw this university into turmoil,” says Ryan.


For more information please contact:

Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario, (416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, (416) 578-8774