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As teaching assistants and markers at the University of British Columbia approach their third week of striking, CUPE Local 2278 is seeking support from other CUPE Locals.

The teaching assistants stopped work February 13, 2003 after failing to see any movement from management on their main issue: tuition fee waivers.

CUPE members who want to send a support message to the local can visit http://cupe.ca/news/strikesandlockouts/ and click “send a solidarity message.”

The local has also set up an online petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/cupe2278/petition.html.

UBC President Martha Piper - who recently saw her salary increase 63 per cent - told a UBC audience that teaching assistants weren’t entitled to parental leave or medical coverage because they were only part time employees and their teaching at the university was “not a career path.”

Teaching assistants do about 40 per cent of the teaching at UBC. This work is considered important training for future university faculty.