Letter to the Editor: Teaching assistants create petition
Dear Wilfrid Laurier community,
The last time there was news about graduate teaching assistants unionizing at Laurier, the union committee encouraged employees to exercise their right to vote on union representation.
The vote happened from Nov. 5 to 6, and during this period of time, over 300 people voted! This incredible level of participation demonstrates that grad TAs care about having input over their working conditions.
Since then, many have asked why we have yet to see the vote results, and the union committee is here to answer that question.
Part of the unionizing process is that 40 per cent of currently employed TAs need to sign union cards saying that they want to vote on the matter of union representation.
However, during the card signing process, there is no way to know the number of grad TAs employed at Laurier.
Now that the university has officially brought forward a list of TAs, they are asserting that there is insufficient support to reach the necessary 40 per cent.
We have challenged several employees on their list, as to whether those people are currently employed as graduate TAs.
This is a point of contention and if an agreement is not reached, then there is the possibility that the ballot box will never be opened.
However, these matters of dispute can be put aside, and a settlement can be reached where both parties agree to open the ballot box.
That is why we have created a petition.
The petition puts pressure on the university to come to a settlement, with both TAs and the university agreeing to open the ballot box, and let the votes speak for themselves.
We have a great deal of respect for the process and the Labour Board’s role in this matter but are anticipating that the university will try to go to litigation.
If things were to move to litigation, this would delay the results of the vote even further and be costly in time, resources and capacity.
The petition is a way to show that TAs and their allies are in support of both parties coming to an agreement so that the votes can be counted, and the results can be revealed with as little delay as possible.
Wilfrid Laurier TAs United
Sign & share our petition: Count the Union Vote Ballots