11 March 2015
Professor Cheryl Regehr
Office of the Provost
Dear Professor Regehr:
As members of the faculty appointed principally or cross-appointed to the Centre for Medieval Studies, we would like here to express our solidarity with all efforts to improve conditions for professional life and learning at the University of Toronto. We share with our students a commitment to academic integrity and learning, and we deplore the dramatic inequalities between different working positions at this university.
We recognize the precarious labor conditions under which teaching assistants, course instructors and sessional instructors work–and the impact that these conditions inevitably have on the quality of both undergraduate and graduate education, as well as on a sense of true and equitable academic community among colleagues. Teaching assistants and many course instructors subsist on wages below poverty level. Many are responsible for dependents. Many who struggle to complete their degrees once they exit the cohort covered by the current funding scheme rely entirely on paid teaching work.
We admire and support the commitment our teaching assistants and junior colleagues have made to address these issues, and we urge the administration to return to the bargaining table with CUPE 3902 Unit 1 as soon as possible.