Graduate Student Strike at the University of Toronto 2015

In March 2015, Graduate Student Teaching Assistants at the University of Toronto went on strike to bring their funding package closer to the poverty line–it used to be almost 5000 dollars below the established value in Ontario. After 3 weeks of striking and the university refusing to bring the minimum funding per student on par with the poverty line ($19,930 yearly income per capita), the members of the graduate student union CUPE 3902 accepted an offer by the university to enter into binding arbitration. In June, CUPE 3902 lost the arbitration after the arbitrator ruled it had to accept the final offer by the university. Despite some financial gains, the minimum guaranteed funding for a graduate student who is required to work as a Teaching Assistant while studying remains at $15,000 and graduate students thus continue to live in precarity.¬†Shortly after the arbitration process had ended, the university announced a record net income of $287 million for the financial year of 2014-2015. Graduate students who now do 60% of the teaching at UofT will see little of this.

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