University of Toronto Student Web Services
Strike by CUPE 3902 Unit 1

March 1, 2015

To: University of Toronto Students
From: Jill Matus, Vice-Provost, Students & First-Entry Divisions

The University has been bargaining intensively with CUPE 3902 Unit 1 in order to reach a fair and reasonable renewal collective agreement. We believe that our latest offer meets those criteria. We are disappointed that while a tentative agreement unanimously approved by the Unit 1 bargaining team was reached late last night, Unit 1 members who attended a meeting this afternoon voted not to send the agreement to the full bargaining unit membership for ratification. CUPE 3902 Unit 1, which represents teaching assistants, lab assistants, graders, markers and course instructors, is now on strike.

How does this affect you?

First and foremost, the University will remain open and we are not planning to cancel classes. While some courses will be affected, many will continue as usual and you should plan to continue to attend your courses. Second, the University places a very high value on maintaining the integrity of our academic programs and on minimizing any negative impact on our students.

All of our teaching staff who are not members of CUPE 3902 Unit 1 are expected to continue to engage in their teaching and research obligations. The University will respect the decision of those CUPE 3902 Unit 1 members who wish to continue working. That is, the University will not lock out CUPE 3902 Unit 1 members as long as this remains operationally feasible.

The University will also respect the decision of those who choose to strike.

We expect most classes to proceed as normal, although there may be some classes, labs or tutorials that may need to be cancelled due to strike-related absences. For updates about arrangements for specific courses which may be affected by this strike, you should always consult Blackboard. Please do so often, as the status of your course may change. If you are still unclear about the status of your course after consulting Blackboard, contact your instructor or the department offering the course. Additional information will be updated regularly on the University’s homepage under the ‘Announcements’ section. Please see www.utoronto.ca.

While we will be working hard to minimize any negative impact on your studies, there may be some difficulties or confusion as we move to establish alternative arrangements for some courses. Please bear with us as we do our best to support you and make these provisions.

You may experience picketing in public areas at some entrances to the campuses and traffic may be affected. Picketing will not be permitted inside buildings or on private University property. We recommend that everyone use public transportation to the extent they can.

For those employees on strike, picketing for the purpose of communicating information is lawful, provided it is peaceful, conducted on public property and does not restrict or prevent entry to, or exit from the University’s premises. Further information about picket lines is available through the FAQs for Students posted online at http://uoft.me/strikeFAQs.

If you encounter difficulties getting to class or crossing a picket line at any time, do not attempt to force your way in. Do not get involved in any argument or altercation. If you feel that your safety, the safety of others, or your freedom of movement is being compromised, call security at:

  • St. George: 416-978-2323
  • U of T Scarborough: 416-287-7398
  • U of T Mississauga: 905-828-5200
or speak to a constable at the site if one is present.

For updates and further information you should visit the University’s home page (www.utoronto.ca) frequently.

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