Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

March 16, 2015 17:09 ET

University of Toronto's refusal to bargain seriously with striking education workers shows indifference to quality education, union says

"Our Bargaining Team moved mountains to break impasse. U of T moved backwards," says CUPE 3902 Chair Erin Black

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 16, 2015) - The University of Toronto's refusal to bargain seriously demonstrates their utter indifference to ensuring students receive the quality education they pay for, expect and deserve, the Chair of the Union representing 6,000 striking education workers said today.

"Our bargaining team had no choice but to unanimously reject the so-called 'counter offer' put forward this afternoon by U of T," said Erin Black, Chair of Local 3902 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3902).

"In good faith, our team moved mountains to break the impasse between the two sides. We worked through the weekend to devise a proposal we felt was fair to our members and addressed U of T's concerns. In response, U of T moved backwards, countering with a proposal that contained even less than their previous offer," she added.

Members of Unit 1 of CUPE 3902 have been on strike since February 27, in an effort to improve poverty-level funding and precarious employment faced by contract education workers at U of T.

"Quite frankly, receiving an offer that was inferior to the one overwhelmingly rejected by members last month calls into question the University's sincerity in resolving this dispute," said Black.

In anticipation of a protracted strike, CUPE 3902 today announced a series of events they hope will apply pressure on U of T administration to get back to the bargaining table with a serious offer. A 'Day of Action' will take place at U of T's Mississauga campus tomorrow, March 17. This event will be followed by an anticipated undergraduate solidarity action the following day, and another 'Day of Action' at the U of T Scarborough Campus on Thursday.

Black said the union remains ready to negotiate.

"Our offer to continue negotiations stands, but we are now focused on the strike efforts, as we believe this week will be critical," she said.

Contact Information

  • Erin Black
    CUPE 3902 Chair
    416-806-3902

    Kevin Wilson
    CUPE Communications
    416-821-6641