PSAC rally protest

Labour organizations met up on concrete beach to support Western's teaching assistants as they prepare to vote on the latest offer from Western administration. 

Courtesy of @lenelliott

The union representing TAs announced late last night that TAs voted to reject Western University's last offer; however, the TAs are not on strike.

In an online statement, the union representing approximately 2,000 TAs, Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610, asked members to continue their TA duties despite being in a legal strike position.

"The University has previously communicated that they will not lock us out of our research, student, and TA duties. ... Please continue your TA duties. We are NOT on strike," said the union in a statement

Western's Provost, Janice Deakin, said the university is committed to ensuring exams proceed as scheduled between April 14 to 30.

"All Western students are expected to attend exams and other academic requirements, unless notified by email from your Faculty that exams are not necessary in your case," she said in an email sent out at 12:44 a.m. Deakin said graduate students are expected to fulfil their obligations to research work and to continue to meet their academic requirements. 

The union's bargaining team is pushing for a number of things, including a real wage increase, extended TAships and protection from tuition increases.

The union is holding a solidarity event at 11 a.m. today in front of the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building. The university is holding an open house for the new building, with administration members and politicians in attendance. The union's strike committee is planning to set up an "information picket/solidarity march." On the event's Facebook page, the union stated the event does not represent a general strike action, nor is it establishing a picket line.

"We have shown the employer that we are serious about bargaining and are not willing to accept unfair working conditions," said the union's statement. 

The union has been in negotiations with the university since November after the collective agreement between TAs and the university expired on August 31, 2017.

This story is developing.

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