McGill strikers write a letter the Provost (PDF file here) but things are not looking all that promising – from AGSEM website:
(May 12) In a shocking statement made at the Bargaining Table on Monday morning, the Administration’s bargaining team told TAs to “Grow Up and Take Responsibility.” In fact, we ARE taking responsibility: for our work and our duties, for our members, and for a democratic voice in the workplace. Now we know how the Administration really feels about Teaching Assistants, in particular, and graduate students, in general. This ageist remark is an affront to graduate students everywhere.
I am not sure what it means since there aren’t too many details about the actual meeting, but it sounds as if the administration bargaining team isn’t really taking this affair seriously, and why would they? it’s just a bunch of grad students, right? who takes them seriously? I don’t know if it’s really an “ageist” remark, but it certainly is an affront to “graduate students everywhere” – it seems to me that with all the attention to “corporate responsibility” and “business ethics” our universities (by “our” I mean North American) somehow are getting away without much scrutiny. Graduate students and junior faculty are dependent on the university’s “good will” and are thus very easy to exploit – isn’t it time for a new category of “educational harassment”?
More information from CTV (Montreal):
McGill, TAs nowhere near resolutionFor students trying to graduate from McGill’s education department this could be a make or break week. Teaching assistants have been on strike for five weeks, which has resulted in the cancellation of many courses.The university says it is strictly obeying the Quebec Labour Code, which prevents it from hiring striking teaching assistants to do other, non-union work, such as invigilating exams. “The labour code obliges us not to hire striking TAs in any employument in the university and unfortunately that’s one of the consequences of the strike,” said deputy provost Morton Mendelson. The TA union disagrees. “They’re acually taking a small section of the labour code that’s to prevent scabbing and to prevent undermining and strike breaking,” said Natalie Kouri-Towe. Even if the two sides can come to an agreement, there are more labour woes on the horizon for McGill. Support staff at the university is poised to stike in the fall. Watch the video.