CUPE 3903: Rally for Public Education

LeftStreamed — Recorded in Toronto, 9 April 2018

CUPE 3903: Rally for Public Education

For the second time in three years, CUPE 3903 -- representing contract faculty, TAs and GAs at York University -- has been forced to go on strike. The fight for accessible education and job security at York University is not an isolated phenomenon. Whether it’s striking workers in the Ontario college system or at Carleton University, students in Chicago resisting school closures, public school teachers in Kentucky and Oklahoma struggling for decent working conditions, or young people across the U.S. engaged in walkouts to protest gun violence, one thing is clear: we are all part of the same movement to create an accessible education system that respects its teachers and students.

The wave of unrest at York University and beyond... is the result of a neoliberal agenda, carried out by governments at various levels, that is imposing austerity and facilitating the corporatization of the University. For example, in its budgetary documents, York University admits that it has been "exercising restraint with respect to [employee] compensation... in accordance with the direction that was signaled by the Province."

Only by collective action can we create an education system where educators have decent working conditions, and where students are free from debt and have access to affordable, high-quality education. To express our collective resolve, CUPE 3903 called for a rally and march to oppose attacks on public education by this anti-worker, anti-student provincial government.

The rally began at the Ministry of Labour to protest their anti-democratic and anti-union practices, including forced ratification votes and binding arbitration. It then proceeded to Queen’s Park to tell the provincial government that we will not accept further cuts or back-to-work legislation.

A different education system is possible. Together we will build it.

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