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TORONTO, Ont. – At 12:01 a.m. this morning, hours before a critical meeting of its members, the Continuing Educations Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) locked out two unionized staff.

“To not allow CESAR members to have a say in this matter is profoundly anti-democratic and inappropriate,” said Saira Chhibber, president of Local 1281 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 1281), which represents the locked-out staff.

In addition to demanding future employees’ wages are rolled back 10 per cent, CESAR is also attempting to eliminate an unfilled position, effectively entrenching unacceptable workloads.

The locked-out staff perform vital services on behalf of Continuing Education students at Ryerson, including orientation, academic advocacy, income tax clinics and cost-saving services. They are also responsible for assisting students who wish to opt out of CESAR’s drug plan. The deadline for opting out of the plan is this Friday, October 4.

CESAR would prefer to waste members’ money on overtime, while demanding their two unionized staff accept brutal workloads and longer hours, then sit down and negotiate a settlement. That’s something we believe CESAR members don’t support.

Chhibber called on CESAR members to attend their General Membership Meeting which begins at 4:30 p.m. today in Room 115, Ryerson Student Centre (SC115), 55 Gould Street. Local 1281 will be holding a ‘Dance the Lockout Away’ dance party in front of the Centre during the meeting.

CUPE 1281 represents more than 250 workers across Canada who work in various campus government, non-profit and social justice workplaces.


For more information, please contact:

Saira Chhibber, CUPE 1281 President, 416-906-6140

Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641