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OTTAWA, Ont. – Teaching assistants (TAs) at Carleton University, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), have voted 81 per cent in favour of giving their bargaining committee a strike mandate if contract talks with the administration fail to reach a fair collective agreement.

Carleton management fails to recognize the importance of protection from tuition fee increases,” said Jessica Squires, president of CUPE 4600, representing 1900 TAs and contract instructors at the university. “Tuition fee hikes represent effective pay cuts for our members, eroding take-home pay and making it difficult to make ends meet.”

Every day, TAs teach classes, help students and grade papers,” said John Gillies, CUPE National Representative. “It’s time for the administration to recognize and respect their contribution to university education.”

The university workers are also seeking health and dental benefits and better assistance for international students, as well as job security for non-anglophone students.

Contract instructors, also represented by CUPE 4600, as well as faculty and librarians are also experiencing difficulties trying to negotiate contracts with the administration.

Our members have delivered a solid strike mandate to the bargaining committee, and we hope the administration will take upcoming talks seriously, and address our members’ concerns,” said Squires. “A lockout or strike will hurt students, our members, and the entire Carleton community, and that’s the last thing we want. But the administration needs to understand that what we are fighting for goes to the heart of quality and accessible education, and we won’t back down.”

For further information, please contact:

Jessica Squires
CUPE 4600 President
(819) 328-5831

John Gillies
CUPE National Representative
(613) 237-0115
(613)761-2569 (cell)

Robert Lamoureux
CUPE Communications
(416) 292-3999