WATERLOO, ON — Students, faculty, staff and community allies joined members of Local 926 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 926) to call on administration at Wilfrid Laurier University to stop replacing good jobs on campus with bad, low-paying, precarious work.
“We are here today to make it clear to this administration that we as a campus community will not settle for a living, working and learning environment that races to the bottom,” Allan Savard, President of CUPE 926, said during yesterday’s rally at the University Quad.
“We believe no member of our campus community is disposable and that every member of our campus community should be able to have dignity in their work,” he added.
CUPE 926 represents 110 custodial, groundskeeping and skilled trades workers. The union is currently attempting to negotiate a new collective agreement with WLU. The university has demanded members accept a contract that would give management the power to contract out work virtually at will.
“Experience shows us that contracting out only leads to poorer quality services and less control over those services,” said Janice Folk-Dawson, chair of CUPE’s Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee, who also attended the rally.
“The university’s efforts to eliminate even more good jobs will only lead to a dirtier, less safe campus. This is not the way to create the conditions where our students and researchers can thrive. Contracting out won’t do a thing for our campus and community, except make it a poorer place to live, work and learn,” she added.
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CUPE 926 President