As the CUPE 4600 strike at Carleton University enters its second week, unions of contract academic workers across the province stand in solidarity. Contract Instructors and Teaching Assistants at Carleton are standing up to the university, not just for fair pay in the face of a cost of living crisis, but to protect their intellectual property and ensure there are reasonable limits in place on the number of students a TA can be responsible for.
This is just the latest disruption in a growing strike wave in which academic workers across the country are standing up to the increasingly anti-worker and anti-student governance of our institutions. Workers at Dalhousie and McMaster were on strike for three weeks each over the fall to fight for better pay in the face of record inflation. Faculty Associations across the country have been striking for job security and against administrative greed.
In every case, these actions have won the support of students who are tired of seeing their tuition dollars diverted to administrative bloat and away from the academic workers they rely on, many of whom are now struggling to make ends meet. Carleton is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves and paying their senior administrators a fortune while their TAs and CIs struggle to keep up with the rising cost of rent. They are paid substantially less than their University of Ottawa counterparts who do the exact same work in the exact same city.
We will stand in support of striking academic workers at Carleton for as long as it takes for them to win a fair contract. We join them and the growing chorus of concerned voices in demanding that Carleton return to the bargaining table with a fair offer–one that recognizes the importance of their work and gives them the tools and protections they need to provide their students with the education they deserve.
Chris Fairweather- President, CUPE 3906 (McMaster University)
Eriks Bredovskis- President, CUPE 3902 (University of Toronto)
Nathan Cecckin- President, CUPE 4207 (Brock University)
Scott Duchesne- President, CUPE 3913 (University of Guelph)
Catherine Larocque- President, CUPE 2626 (University of Ottawa)
Stephanie Latella- Chairperson, CUPE 3903 (York University)