The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) at Simon Fraser University (SFU) stands in solidarity with Rutgers American Association of University Professors - American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT). As university teachers and researchers without a contract, we at TSSU are well aware of the struggles academic workers face in coming to a collective agreement. Precarity and labour exploitation are borderless, but so too is solidarity. We are fighting alongside our union siblings in AAUP-AFT for a fair contract.
We are appalled by Rutgers’ offer, an effective pay cut that does not keep up with inflation. It is clear that this offer does not reflect the costs shouldered by precarious graduate and adjunct workers at the university. As workers we are also facing skyrocketing costs of living that are affecting us all, but notably international students and women. We are inspired by your membership showing Rutgers admin with a resounding yes that poverty and precarity are unacceptable. The fact that this is the first academic worker strike in the University’s 256 year history shows the urgency to get to a fair deal. We congratulate you on this historic strike that will no doubt pave the way for future worker victories at Rutgers.
We look to your strength as we begin our strike vote today with a unanimous mandate from our membership at our last general meeting. Our Research Assistants have been fighting for their first contract for 1217 days today while SFU Senior Administration has been union busting. After organizing a union drive, signing a voluntary recognition agreement with the administration, and waiting well over three years for a contract, being asked to accept less than their fair share is nothing short of disgraceful. All other TSSU members have been without a contract for well over 300 days as the administration continues to delay for as long as possible.
As a completely independent union, we look to the victories of other academic worker unions for strength. A 94 percent yes vote for strike with an 80 percent turnout is such a victory that we aspire to. Congratulations and we will continue to follow the strike as the momentum grows.
Teaching Support Staff Union
Feminist, directly democratic, and non-hierarchical since 1978.