CUPE 3902 and CUPE 3261, representing two bargaining units of approximately 1,100 contract education workers and 700 full time and part time front-line service workers respectively, held a rally to call on U of T to support good jobs and avert potential strikes.

“Good jobs are disappearing at U of T, while poverty wage jobs are increasing due to contracting out,” says Allan James, President of CUPE 3261. “U of T says it cares about equity and social impact, and it’s time its decision-makers match those words with action. We want to continue providing services, but if necessary, our members are prepared to strike to stand up for good jobs and quality services.”

CUPE 3261 has challenged the accelerating trend of contracting out because of growing inequality and negative impact on service standards. In negotiations with U of T, it has asked to limit contracting out of service work ahead of the strike deadline of Monday, November 21, 2022.

Over the course of the rally, members of the union and supporters handed out flyers which called on students at the university as well as staff to a send messages to decision-makers.

CUPE 3902, Unit 3 has set improvements to job security as a bargaining priority because of the deliberate precarization of university education, and this membership. In negotiations with U of T, it has asked the University to recognize the service of these educators who deliver a large proportion of undergraduate teaching.

“Good jobs are secure jobs,” says Amy Conwell, President of CUPE 3902. “These are jobs that ensure improved working conditions for contract educators. And these are jobs that ensure we can deliver the high-quality education that U of T says students deserve.”

“This rally is about the members of CUPE 3261, the amazing work they do at this university, and the need to keep good jobs at U of T,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “University of Toronto has both a responsibility to our community and the clear capacity to end contracting out.”