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We are preparing for GTA bargaining! This means we are negotiating to give TAs the best deal and improve their working conditions.

Our Vision

Research is not a business, it is a fundamental component of maintaining a forward-looking and enlightened society. It is priceless: its contributions are timeless and the people engaged in it serve all of humanity. Your computers, your cellphones, the satellites that criss-cross the heavens, your health, reflective ideas in society, they all exist because of research. It is a public good.


Across the world, universities are being transformed from institutions which produce knowledge into educational service institutions driven by profit motives. This hurts everyone. When the university is treated like a business, or an undergraduate education becomes nothing more than a ticket to employment, the whole of civil society suffers. 


The increase in cost of undergraduate education in the last forty years has not lead to better working conditions for graduate students, faculty or staff. Instead, there are less tenure track jobs than ever before, and less funding from the state for research. 


As graduate students we came to this university because we are prepared to produce knowledge. That is an end in itself. It should be funded. When we are reduced to less than minimum wage labour we lack the time to do original research, let alone provide for our families. 


Graduate students are the frontline labourers of knowledge production. We are the ones who collect the data, conduct the interviews, crunch the numbers, and search the library. In our labs and elsewhere we do the ground level work that helps faculty achieve their results. 


It is in everyone’s interests that young researchers make a living wage. The modern world is fighting a resurgence of barbarism and reactionary forces which seek to end democracy. We desperately need a new generation committed to the continued free existence of the arts and sciences. This can only be done if new researchers are given the space to thrive.


We demand working conditions which respect our dignity as professional researchers. We want a university that will support us, because it is only when we are supported that the university can fulfil its function. And we demand advocacy at the higher level as well: something must be done to get more funding for public higher education from the provincial and federal governments. 


If our civil society is to survive the arts and sciences must continue. Only universities can provide the space that will allow this to occur. Industry is no substitute. We must not let universities be commercialized. 


This is why we demand Western RESPECT OUR RESEARCH!

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