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TORONTO Student graduate research assistants at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT), members of CUPE Local 3907, will launch a campaign next week to demand the university extend its much publicized funding package to hundreds of students who have been excluded.

The University of Toronto says it is giving funding packages of $22,000 to PhD students but when it comes to hundreds of us, this money is fools gold, says Maureen Giuliani, a PhD student and CUPE Local 3907 representative. Although OISE/UT is now part of the University of Toronto, you would never know it from our funding.

The University of Toronto announced this month that it would give most graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees $17,600 to $22,000 a year, for up to five years of study.

We want the package and we want it now, says Giuliani. We receive an average of $3,000, a far cry from the packages the university is touting. Hundreds of PhD students at OISE/UT will not receive a sliver of the funding. We are among the worst-funded graduate students in Ontario.

Shirley Thompson has had to extend her studies because she must work full-time. Skyrocketing tuition and the high cost of living in Toronto have produced debt, despair, and drop outs, says Thompson. We need the improved funding as much as anyone.

CUPE Local 3907 is urging students to contact the university and demand the new funding.


Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications:
Maureen Giuliani, CUPE Local 3907:
416-481-4904 and 416-926-4728.