Mr. Speaker, I rise today to say that New Democrats stand in solidarity with the teaching assistants at the University of Toronto, who have been out on strike for a week.
The members of CUPE Local 3902 are on the picket line seeking fair wages and better working conditions. They are seeking to improve upon the $15,000 a year that they make, which includes salaries and scholarships.
They are not looking to join the thousands of U of T staff on Ontario's “sunshine list” or to make more money than the Premier of Ontario, as the President of U of T does. They are looking for a modest increase so that people who are actually teaching 60% of the courses at U of T do not have to be among the working poor.
As the president of the U of T Students' Union put it last week, the TAs' “working conditions are students’ learning conditions”.
It is time for U of T to get back to the bargaining table, earn their six-figure salaries, and negotiate a fair deal for students and for their teaching assistants.
New Democrats stand proudly in line in solidarity with CUPE Local 3902.