To Mathias Memmel and Daman Singh,
We are deeply concerned that under your direction the University of Toronto Students’ Union has illegally laid-off two valuable staff members, Vita Carlino and Maria Galvez, and continues to operate without a Financial Coordinator, Clubs and Services Groups Coordinator, or a Health and Dental Plan Coordinator.
We offer our fullest support to CUPE Local 1281, the union representing these workers. Vita and Maria have worked at the UTSU for a combined 14 years providing valuable services to students at the University of Toronto. They are experienced professionals who deserve respect.
Their roles are also crucial to the UTSU’s capacity to be an effective students’ union that provides quality services to students. That is why we also support the student-led Save Our Services, Support Our Staff campaign that is calling on the UTSU to reverse your decision to make these cuts.
As a public sector union, we are all too familiar with the tactic of constructing or exaggerating financial crisis to justify cuts. You have said these service and staff cuts are necessary because of the UTSU’s finances. Yet, the UTSU’s financial documents indicate the UTSU is not in any immediate financial trouble. You have pointed to a report that suggest the UTSU will run deficits in the future. However, Kokobi, the consulting firm you hired to provide you this report has a questionable reputation, and their conclusions are based on many deeply pessimistic assumptions. We strongly believe, that one worst-case-scenario report cannot justify these drastic staff cuts that have such a negative impact on student services.
When job security and respect at work is attacked anywhere, it effects workers everywhere. The labour movement will unite to hold the UTSU accountable for these unnecessary and unfair cuts. We strongly urge you to reconsider your decision, and call on you to do the right thing and bring back Vita and Maria.
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