Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are vital to the high quality of education at Western. GTAs are masters and doctorate students who run labs and tutorials and provide personalized help and guidance to undergraduate and graduate students. Like all workers at Western, Western’s claim to excellence relies on our labour. We are worth more than $12,210/year.
Over half of Western GTAs are in financial stress. One in three work other jobs. One in three will have their funding expire before their program is completed. Almost half incur debt to complete their program. From 2014 to 2017 tuition fees increased 6.5% yet GTAs compensation increased only by 3.5%. As a result, almost half of GTAs have net annual income less than $11,000. Over half of GTAs work overtime, yet less than 1% have got paid for it. Western’s treatment of GTAs is unfair and exploitative.
Because GTAs are in bargaining, Westen has stopped paying the Union Health Care Plan and Financial Assistant Fund. Depriving GTAs from benefits, while they are fulfilling their duties as per the expired collective agreement, is totally unfair and serves only to further harm to already vulnerable workers.
I hope Western acknowledges the financial burdens their GTAs are facing and respond fairly to their bargaining demands.
This petition will be delivered to:
· President, Western University
· Chair, Board of Governors, Western University
· President, Alumni Association, Western University
SIGN THE PETITION OF SUPPORT FOR GTAs @ WESTERN HERE.