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HAMILTON, ON — With a lockout/strike deadline three days away, the Canadian Federation of Students is throwing its support behind McMaster University teaching and research assistants — and making sure the whole world knows it.

In a video solidarity message posted on YouTube.com, CFS Ontario chairperson Jesse Greener talks about why TAs and RAs need protection against tuition fee increases.

Tuition protection is one of the key issues in negotiations between CUPE 3906 and McMaster — and for other CUPE locals representing academic workers at the province’s universities. Also on the table at Mac are workload and job security.

CUPE 3906 represents more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate TAs, who teach, grade and help students at McMaster. The membership recently voted 81 per cent in favour of strike action if a fair agreement is not reached. Their last contract expired on August 31, 2006. No further talks have been scheduled before the October 27 strike deadline.

Other Ontario universities offer tuition fee protection to their TAs – there’s no reason why McMaster TAs should be left behind,” said spokesperson Max Haiven.