The Solidarity & Social Justice Committee of the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) at Simon Fraser University expresses our support and solidarity with CUPE Local 15 in their strike action at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

TSSU represents over 2500 Teaching Assistants, Tutor Markers, Sessional Instructors, and ELC/ITP Instructors. In bargaining with our own employer, we have been faced with many of the same underhanded tactics to build a tiered system that divides co-workers and union members from one another. We applaud CUPE Local 15 for fighting to protect a unified workplace, where all workers, present and future, can be assured of equivalent working conditions in the form of the nine-day fortnight model.

It is shameful that after eight months at the bargaining table, and more than a year and a half without a contract, the Vancouver Art Gallery has failed to provide their workers with an agreement that respects the unity of their membership and guarantees them a wage adequate to the substantial demands of living in Greater Vancouver. What’s more, the wage increases have been offered do not even meet the bare minimum standard of keeping up with the rate of inflation. As workers, we recognize that the ever-increasing cost of living is bolstered by inflation rates that force us to dig deeper into our pockets for basic expenses like housing and groceries, while employers so rarely face the same demands in the form of increasing wages to match inflation.

In order to build unity and solidarity as workers, it is imperative that we protect the rights of not only ourselves, but all other workers inside and outside of our workplaces. We recognize that an injury to one is an injury to all. As such, we stand in unequivocal support and solidarity with CUPE Local 15.

In solidarity,

Solidarity & Social Justice Committee

Teaching Support Staff Union