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VICTORIA Teaching assistants, language instructors and computing staff at the University of Victoria, members of CUPE Local 4163, have voted 92% in favour of a strike.

We dont want to strike during the final exam period, said Sherwin Arnott, chair of the locals bargaining team. The union has applied for mediation to avoid job action during this crucial time for students. In the event that talks break down, the union is preparing for a strike when school resumes next year, possibly as early as January.

Arnott reminds that post secondary students at UVic and elsewhere have been struggling with huge tuition increases. We have been gouged with a 70% increase in tuition fees and paying tuition is a condition of our employment. We need fair wages and benefits to pay for these rising costs.

University of Victoria TAs lag far behind their peers at other institutions. UVic Teaching Assistants earn $17 per hour, compared with $38 at York University, $27 per hour at SFU and $25 per hour at UBC. They are demanding wage parity with other BC institutions. Negotiations have been underway since August but no adequate wage offer has been made to offset tuition fee increases.

UVic relies on the work TAs do during the exam period and students rely on their TAs for support. Were giving it one more chance, said Arnott.


Sherwin Arnott
Bargaining Team Chair
CUPE local 4163

Melissa Moroz
Communications Director
CUPE local 4163