Successful Strike Vote for Teaching Union at U of G

Monday, November 3, 2008


Written by Erinn White

Sessional Lecturers and Teaching Assistants have given a strong “yes” to the possibility of a strike, if the university doesn’t start to address the membership’s most important issues.

Key issues for the local are workload, health and safety, job security and tuition fee relief.

“This vote shows that the members are very supportive of the issues that the bargaining team has been advocating for,” says Trish Altass, Chair of Local 3913. “We’re not just fighting for ideas, we’re working to protect decent working conditions for our members.”

Members of 3913 have been without a contract since August 31st.

“What happens to Sessionals and Teaching Assistants affects the quality of education for students,” says Toni Xerri, the Local’s Chief Negotiator. “When class sizes go up, or tuition fees increase, students suffer.”

“When the union works for better safety measures, it leads to safer learning environments, too.”

The Union filed for conciliation on October 10th. The Union and University are meeting October 31st. The parties will also meet on November 7th, with the assistance of a provincially-appointed mediator.

“It’s a shame that every local on this campus has to follow the process through to a strike deadline to get a fair contract, but that’s the trend we’re seeing,” says Xerri. “We’re asking the community to support us and tell the university to come to a fair deal.”

CUPE 3913 represents over 1,200 Sessional Lecturers and Teaching Assistants at the University of Guelph and is the largest union local in the city.

For more information, please contact:
Trish Altass, Chair, or
Toni Xerri, Chief Negotiator
CUPE 3913
519-824-4120, x56268

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  1. Posted by: George on Nov 5, 2008 @ 1:16pm

    Don’t believe any CUPE group when they say they are in support of lower tuition. If they truly were in support of this they wouldn’t be asking for ridiculous pay and benefit increases for their already cushy jobs.

    They say all this as a ploy to get the CSA and students on board because they know having a large number of students supporting their cause will produce better results for themselves. In the end, their pay and benefits increase and students are left footing the bill.

  2. Posted by: UNIONMAN1001 on Nov 6, 2008 @ 9:24am

    So George, what exactly are these "ridiculous pay and benefit increases" you speak of? Care to give details?

  3. Posted by: George on Nov 6, 2008 @ 12:06pm

    UNIONMAN1001 (if that is your real name), I was exaggerating a detail to emphasize the point of my statement, which you have obviously completely overlooked. Try not to get distracted by the shiny objects.

    Moving on, it doesn’t matter how much more they are requesting in pay and benefits, the point I make is that CUPE asks the CSA and students to support their cause, yet I don’t really see much substance behind their support for financial relief or tuition campaigns for student.

    If CUPE wanted to take a true stance against rising tuition, they should consider freezing their own salaries and benefits under the agreement that tuition will be frozen at the university.

    Sometimes you got to dip into your own pockets to support a cause you believe in.

  4. Posted by: fail on Nov 13, 2008 @ 5:10pm

    "UNIONMAN1001 (if that is your real name)"

    This is why I read the cannon. It's cheaper than pouring coffee down my pants.

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