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WINDSOR – Teaching assistants (TA’s) at the University of Windsor became members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) today. The 634 new CUPE members join 25,000 CUPE members in Ontario universities and over half a million CUPE members nation wide.

“It’s been a long time coming – three years of doing the groundwork in building support, then almost exactly 5 months of waiting to get the results of the vote,” says Liam McCarthy, chair of the Organizing Committee at the University of Windsor and a graduate student in Political Science. “Now, finally, we can get down to bargaining with the University.”

Ballots were cast by the Windsor TAs on May 28th, but couldn’t be counted until today because of legal objections raised by the University. Seventy-eight percent of the ballots were in favour of joining CUPE.

“This is another example of how CUPE’s commitment to organizing university workers is generating results,” says CUPE National President Judy Darcy, herself a former university library worker. “Besides helping University of Windsor TA’s improve their compensation and working conditions, this vote will further improve union density in this sector of workers across Canada – making our university locals even more effective. It also confirms that CUPE is the union of choice for university workers.”

Only four other Ontario universities with significant numbers of TA’s remain non-union: Laurentian University in Sudbury, Queen’s university in Kingston, the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University in Toronto . A CUPE organizing campaign is currently underway at Ryerson.

CUPE is Canada’s largest union with a total of 510,000 members. It has almost 25,000 members in Ontario universities, with over 50,000 members across Canada in the university sector, making CUPE the largest university sector union in the country.


For further information, please contact:
Liam McCarthy, Chair of Organizing Committee
Derek Blackadder, Organizing Representative
416-518-9214 (cell)
, Communications Rep.