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TORONTO, Ont. – After 13 months of trying to secure a fair first contract with their employer, contract course instructors, teaching assistants and continuing education instructors at the University of St. Michael’s College have gone on strike today.
The employees, members of Local 3902, Unit 4 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3902-4), walked off the job at 1:00 p.m. today, after talks with St. Michael’s College broke down. Despite positive movement on a number of fronts, talk stalled over the issue of job security.
Many Local 3902, Unit 4 members have provided years of service to the college, but the employer refuses to acknowledge this loyalty by extending them the right to continue to offer high quality education to St. Michael’s students. “I have colleagues who have been teaching on contract here for over six years. All we’re asking for is that they have the ability to plan ahead based on rights to teach the courses they have experience in,” said Dr. Daniel Bader, Chair of the Bargaining Committee.
“This strike is about achieving some stability in our lives,” said Tadhg Morris, bargaining team member and Celtic Studies Instructor.
Local 3902, Unit 4’s bargaining team is ready to meet at any time to explore creative solutions to this impasse. Unit 4 members perform thousands of hours of teaching at the college and are currently teaching 31 single semester courses.
Members will be briefed later by their bargaining committee at an information meeting that will take place at 5:00 p.m. in Room 235 of Northrop Frye Hall located at 73 Queen’s Park Crescent East.
“The union remains hopeful that we can find a way to offer our members some measure of employment security in return for their longstanding commitment to education at the college,” said Abe Nasirzadeh, Chair of CUPE 3902.
For more information, please contact:
Abe Nasirzadeh, Local 3902 Chair, 647-236-3902
Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641