In addition to averting a strike, TAs and RAs have succeeded in achieving a rebate linked to future tuition increases and a 7.5% wage hike over two years, a substantial improvement in benefits, and a study assessing workload related issues.
Once again, the determination and activism of CUPE members in the university sector has paid off. CUPE Local 3903 (York University) set the tone for bargaining across the province and their victory will now propel other CUPE university locals to fight for tuition indexation and affordable post secondary education, says Sid Ryan, Ontario President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Over the past year, strikes in the sector have been prevalent. Fundamental issues such as access to education, the skyrocketing cost of tuition and job security for long-term contract staff have been key in the disputes.
There are many activists on university campuses across Ontario who are prepared to fight for the principles of accessible university education for all. University administrations should keep that in mind when heading to bargaining tables over the next several months, says Ryan.
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications