This morning, Teaching Assistants, Markers, Demonstrators, and Part-Time Academics at Dalhousie University in Halifax began strike action in pursuit of a fair collective agreement. While workers at Dalhousie have been facing staggering increases in the cost of living, their university’s wage proposals promise only to put them further behind.
All across the country, public universities and colleges have fallen increasingly under the control of lawyers and corporate executives whose only goal is to generate profits and create student debt for the big banks at the expense of students, workers, and the communities post-secondary education is meant to serve. In some cases, universities are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profits each year while putting very little back into their communities. In others, reckless governance of this kind is putting universities at risk, as we recently saw with the catastrophic mismanagement and subsequent insolvency of Laurentian University in Sudbury.
As part of their relentless pursuit of profit, universities are increasingly exploiting the labour of precariously-employed academic workers. Rather than creating more full-time, tenure-track positions and other secure, fair-paying academic jobs, our universities are becoming job insecurity machines. This undermines not just our quality of living, but with it, the quality of the research and teaching our universities can produce. Academic workers, our students, and the communities that depend on us deserve better.
As Teaching Assistants at McMaster take their own strike vote over so many of the same issues, the CUPE 3906 Executive Committee stands in solidarity with CUPE 3912 and everyone else fighting for better post-secondary education across the country. We encourage members of CUPE 3906 to share their support for CUPE 3912. We call on academic unions and workers across the country to do the same. We join the growing chorus of groups demanding that Dalhousie return to the table and offer these vital workers a fair contract. In support of their struggle, we have also authorized a $500 contribution to the CUPE 3912 Strike Fund.
Your fight is our fight, and together, we will win!
The CUPE 3906 Executive Committee