Humans of UTM

“Do you have any misconceptions about the strike that you want to clear up? I know a lot of rumours are spreading about how much you get paid and how striking is actually selfish on your behalf.”

“We make just over $40 an hour but we work part time. The wage is just enough to pay for our tuition. It’s important to understand the difference between graduate students and undergraduate students. Graduate students are full time students, the university employs us as full time students; so there’s an expectation that we’re doing our own research full time.”

“I heard that you guys are not allowed to have a second job alongside this one, is it true?”

“Yes, that’s true for some departments. A lot of us had to basically agree to not work outside of the university, however many graduate students do. Some TAs take on extra TAships beyond what they’ve been assigned, they take on other jobs outside the university as well. We work really hard to pay to live and the university consistently doesn’t support us.“

“A lot of students are upset because of the buses being moved… is that something you think was necessary?”

“I don’t think it was necessary at all to move buses since we’re nowhere near the bus stops on campus and we’re not blocking any vehicles from moving. The university also sent out an email telling students to call security if they feel threatened but we would never hurt any undergraduate students; that’s not what we’re here for. It’s upsetting to all of us that the university is trying to turn students against us.”


Humans of UTM

“I’m really sorry for any of the inconveniences the students face–it’s not a good situation, we understand that. But our working conditions are your learning conditions. At the end of the day, if things keep eroding for TAs, it’s going to hurt students in the long run. So we hope the administration will come to the tables soon. The bargaining team is ready to take their calls any time–day or night. We hope the labour action ends shortly; we wanna be back in the classroom teaching.”