In case you didn’t already know, the University of Toronto’s teaching assistants and course instructors have been on strike for the past 3 weeks. Last week a tentative agreement was sent to the union members for voting, and we received the results late last night.
We’re still on strike.
David and I are happy with the result. Even though no one likes striking (seriously, it sucks!), the deal – while an improvement upon previous proposals – did not offer the financial security that the union was demanding. Essentially the money would come in the form of a fixed lump sum, which would only erode due to enrolment, and tuition and inflation increases. Also, due to the fixed lump sum deal, there would be no guarantee of the basic funding package amount we’re bargaining for – $17,500 – up from the $15,000 per student.
Students don’t need the weight of financial uncertainty added to their psychological stress!
Also, last week I joined David downtown on the picket line! I’m happy to report that the energy was at an all-time high.Though, I must say striking is pretty exhausting. It’s cold. You’re marching in circles. It’s noisy. Needless to say, not fun. Nonetheless, it was pretty great to see the turnout at the Undergraduate Student Rally & Walkout!
I managed to snap some pretty great shots from the day. Here are some pictures from March 18.
There was a big puppet, too. I think they said it was supposed to be like a monopoly piece. I thought it reminded me of Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Here’s hoping the strike ends soon with a deal that satisfies the majority!