CUPE 2278 Quiet Picket has Loud Effect at UBC

by Stephen Petrina on November 1, 2012

CUPE 2278 Picket Captain and Grievances Committee Chair Molly Campbell and President Trish Everett leading members and supporters

With warnings from the University to tone it down on the picket lines so as not to disrupt neighboring buildings and businesses, CUPE 2278 Graduate Teaching Assistants began the day’s job action quietly. The quiet picket had a loud effect and by 3:00 2278 members we weren’t exactly tip-toeing to orders. At that point, at least one hundred undergraduate students had crowded in support by choosing to not cross the picket line. The chant continues to be ‘They say raise tuition, We say no submission,’ which obviously draws solidarity of the undergraduates.

CUPE 2278 represents 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students who are hired as teaching assistants or markers at UBC; or sessional instructors who primarily work in the English Language Institute. The Union has been in bargaining for over two years and were redirected into mediation from April to October 2012. Although UBC management enjoys average 5% annual increases (the UBC President enjoys an annual $50,000+ housing perk), its last offer to the TAs was 0%, 0%, 1.5% and 1.5% for 2010-2014. That’s ridiculously unfair.

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