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Sudbury, Ont. – In a move to improve working and earning conditions, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) from Laurentian University recently voted to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Our newest members will now have the backing of Canada’s largest union,” said Colette Proctor, CUPE organizing representative.  “Our Laurentian members will now have a legitimate process to address issues of wages, benefits and working conditions that affect
the quality of education at the university.”

The 233 graduate teaching assistants will join CUPE’s growing family at Laurentian.  CUPE already represents 20 sessional instructors with Thorneloe College, and 60 Aramark food service workers at the university, represented by CUPE 895.

Our new members will now have access to resources and support that will help them achieve wage parity with other universities of comparable size,” continued Proctor.  “The university administration tried unsuccessfully to cut their wages last year and now with
CUPE on their side we will work with the GTAs to ensure our members’ rights are protected and their issues are advanced.”

CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing over 600,000 members in different sectors, including universities, schools, hospitals, municipalities, social services, transportation and other sectors.