email protest info in support of U of T grad strike

From ZoeScanner <>
Date Fri, 28 Jan 2000 08:40:55 -0800 (PST)

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 Greets all
               This is a worrysome situation
these students are in....
Schools of higher learning are well known for
their singlemindedness and shortsightedness,and
the "ruling class" of said institutions as in
touch with reality as the dinosaurs...
If left to their own devices,this could become an
epidemic we would not want to see....
I have written to the addresses herein &
requested more is not to late yet to
perhaps help.
I thought someone here might be willing to check
it out also..
these kids need any help they can get at this
***********Kelly wrote:****************

From: kelley <>   


sorry for cross posts and possibly being
perceived as spamming the list.
perhaps i am, but i think the following is
important.  in addition to
supporting the email protest and forwarding this
announcement to other
email lists/colleagues, if you have time, please
try to at least drop the
grads a note of support   they are feeling very
beaten down at this point
and i can't tell you how much words of
encouragement or a sense that other
people care what's happening in Toronto means to
them.    I have much more
information that I can forward to anyone who is

if you are a harvard alum or know harvard alum or
even boston area
university alums it can't hurt to email them this
information as well.  U
of T's president, Pritchard, is leaving his post
to take one at Harvard.
It certainly can't hurt to make folks in the
Boston area aware of this so
they, if they're inclined, might put pressure on
Harvard.  these grads are
going to get fired monday unless they sign, so at
this point i don't think
anything can really make matters worse!

further below you will find an update from Robin
Griller on things you can
do to help support the strikers as well as an
update on what's been happening.


p u l p  c u l t u r e

President Robert Pritchard

Michael Finlayson, VP Administration, Human
Adel Sedra, Vp and Provost

Bob Rae, Governor

Please send copies of e-mail to

You can
visit the TA's web site <> for
information and sample


Hi all,

As you may have heard we the teaching assistants
at University of
Toronto have been on strike for over two weeks
now. The central issue is
tuition waivers. Given that the average ta earns
$4,100, it becomes very
difficult to pay the $5200 tuition. Unlike big
american universities, U
of T teaching assistants must pay full tuition.
The administration is
fighting a nasty fight. First they cancelled
courses taught by graduate
students, then they tried to get the faculty to
restructure their
courses to eliminate our work. When faculty
resisted, they decided to
hire scabs and eliminate us. At the most recent
negotiating session,
they kept our bargaining team there for 12 hours
before they announced
their new offer, which was worse than the offer
we rejected before the
strike. As part of this offer, they informed us
that if we do not accept
the offer by February 1st, they will fire all of

The university of Toronto senior administration
thinks that it is
perfectly acceptable for it to treat its staff
like dog shit on their
shoes and we could use help in our dispute. There
are a number of ways
that people can help:

(1) Phone the President, Robert Prichard,
(416)978-2121 and Provost,
Adel Sedra, (416) 978-2122 to let them know that
you are disgusted with
the university's behaviour. Let them know that if
students get degrees
without their teaching assistants (we do 40% of
the teaching at U of T)
they will not be getting a proper education (the
University is
pressuring faculty to make their courses all
multiple choice) and that,
as a result, U of T degrees will have to be
looked at with scepticism
should the strike not be settled;

(2) Also let them know that you may have to
consider advising students
who are considering attending U of T as graduate
students that they may
well be better off accepting offers from other
universities. It is quite
possible that this dispute will be an extended
one and that incoming
students next fall could be walking into the
dispute; this would not be
a good way to start a graduate program.

(3) Please ask your academic associations,
graduate student
associations, faculty associations/unions,
departments, etc. to
officially censure the University of Toronto for
its behaviour. Follow
this up with official open letters to the
university administration.

(4) If you are scheduled to speak at the
University of Toronto this
term, please inform them that you will not speak
on campus for the
duration of the strike.

(5) If you are a University of Toronto alumnus,
please inform the
university that this dispute may lead you to have
to reconsider future
donations to the university. This is very
important; the administration
here cares about only one thing, other than their
own paycheques, and
that is the size of their endowment fund. Hit
them where it hurts.

I am not an official of the union (our local is
the Canadian Union of
Public Employees local 3902), just a teaching
assistant at university of
toronto who is sick of being treated like dirt. 

Thank you,

Robin Griller

p u l p  c u l t u r e


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