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Toronto – CUPE Local 3902, representing over 6,000 university academic workers (teaching assistants and sessional faculty) at the University of Toronto, is holding a solidarity picket for striking Toronto municipal workers, members of CUPE Locals 79 and 416, on Friday July 24 at noon in front of Toronto City Hall. The picket will take place during a continent-wide conference hosted in Toronto, the Coalition of Graduate Employees’ Unions (CGEU).

“With graduate student employees from across North America gathering at the University of Toronto to discuss their working conditions, it was the ideal time to show solidarity with City of Toronto workers who have taken such a strong stand for decent jobs,” said Judy Pocock, External Representative for CUPE Local 3902.

“As a visitor to Toronto from the US, from a state that’s hostile to unions, I’m glad to be able to show my support to these strikers,” said Bret Seferian, a graduate student employee at the University of Florida. “A little trash is nothing compared to the long-term damage if people don’t stand up for basic standards at work.”

Members of CUPE 3902 have been picketing in support of Toronto city strikers since the beginning of the strike, and are concerned that the media isn’t reflecting the public support that exists for the strikers’ demands. “Many people may not think that students in university graduate programs have much in common with people who staff day care centres, maintain parks, or collect garbage,” continued Pocock.

“But we are all public sector workers, and we all have a common interest in preserving the quality of our services to the public – and to do that, we need to preserve decent conditions of work, and that includes decent wages and decent benefits.”

The university workers from campuses across Canada and the United States will join the municipal picket lines at Toronto City Hall between noon and 1pm on Friday July 24.


For more information please contact:

• Judy Pocock, CUPE Local 3902 External Representative Mobile: 416.997.3902
• Chantal Sundaram, CUPE Local 3902 Staff Representative Mobile: 647.223.3902