York and U of T staff, teaching assistants to hold rally at Queen’s Park

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A file photo of Queens Park. File Photo

TORONTO – Up to 10,000 staff and teaching assistants at York University and University of Toronto will hold a rally today in front of Queen’s Park to urge the province to take steps to end a labour dispute as strike deadlines loom.

Non-tenured academic staff at U of T will be in a strike position as of midnight and York University staff will be on the pickets lines March 3.

READ MORE: Strike dates loom for education workers at York University and U of T

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says members could walk off the job if they don’t get a contract with a “modest” salary increase.

Union president Fred Hahn says teaching assistants get paid $15,000 a year – $8,000 below the poverty line – and they must pay tuition on top of that.

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“The Wynne government has a real role in preventing these potential strikes,” said Hahn in a media release. “They must recommit to funding of post-secondary education.”

He says they also need increased job security, noting many don’t know from one semester to the next if they will have a job.

With a file from The Canadian Press