Digest: Open Letters & A Closed Gym – March 26, 2015

March 26th, 2015
  1. Venue Change for UTGSU General Council: March 30, 6:10pm
  2. Students Pen Open Letter to UTFA
  3. UTGSU Gym Time for April Postponed Due to Strike
  4. UTGSU Open Letter to Angela Hildyard and Cheryl Regehr re: CUPE 3902
  5. Permanent Residency Workshop: April 2nd
  6. The Impact Centre/ IEEE Light Up the World with a Collective Hackathon
  7. Grad Minds Conference: Tues March 31, 5pm
  8. Tax Time!!
  9. Israeli Apartheid Week: Last Events March 27 and 28
  10. UofT Film Festival: Mon March 30, 7pm
  11. Grad Escapes Events


UTGSU Open Letter to VP HR & Equity and Provost

March 24th, 2015

The UTGSU Executive Committee would like to express its continued support for the members of CUPE 3902 in their ongoing efforts towards reaching fair contracts with the University of Toronto. We are committed to working alongside labour unions to improve graduate funding for our members, both in achieving a liveable minimum funding package and through expanding funding supports for upper year students and those in professional programs.

Graduate students make significant contributions to the research and teaching on which the University’s reputation lies. It’s time the University of Toronto demonstrate real commitments to graduate student education, and prioritize sustainable learning conditions for research, teaching, and overall scholarship.

We have written an open letter to the VP HR & Equity and the Provost and encourage all members to send in letters, expressing solidarity with CUPE 3902 Unit 1 members. Please feel free to copy any sections of this letter, as needed.

We stand firm with all those on strike and demand the University Administration return to the bargaining table immediately, and in good faith. Until then, we will see you on the picket lines.

In solidarity,

UTGSU Executive Committee

Digest: Election Results & Open Minds Conference – March 19, 2015

March 19th, 2015

1. UTGSU Executive Officer Election 2015 Unofficial Results
2. Grad Minds Presents: Open Minds 2015 Conference + Circus Berserkus: Tues March 31, 5pm
3. UTGSU Board of Directors / General Council Meeting: Mon March 30, 6:10pm
4. Bike.Learn.Love – Bikechain’s 10th Anniversary: Fri March 20, 6:30-9pm
5. Income Tax Resources for Students
6. Grad Talk: Cross-Cultural Communication Skills: Mon March 23, 1-2:30pm
7. UofT Environmental Resource Network (UTERN) Executive Elections: March 24-26
8. Peer Support Program for Graduate Students: Wednesdays 4-5pm
9. GPS Systematic Review Workshop Series: March 18 & 25
10. Alternative Energy: Finance, Environment, Health Lecture: Wed March 25, 4-6pm
11. Engineering World Health – Annual Symposium: Mon March 30, 8:45am-6:30pm
12. LSCDS Seminar – Careers in Government: Mon March 23, 5:30-7:30pm


Statement from CUPE 3902 on UTGSU Elections

March 10th, 2015

CUPE3902 proudly supports the UTGSU elections through the ongoing strike, and we encourage all members to vote.

Many members of the union are also members of the UTGSU, and it is important we do not avoid or suspend by inaction this democratic process.

All striking members of CUPE3902 are asked to vote when they can. Voting will be held on the 10th, 11th, and 12th at 10 locations around St. George, including the GSU Offices, and 4 on satellite campuses. Please visit UTGSU.ca/Elections for more information.

In Solidarity,

CUPE 3902


VOTE in the UTGSU Elections March 10-12!

March 9th, 2015

Don’t forget to cast YOUR ballot in the UTGSU Elections March 10-12, 2015. (more…)

UTGSU Digest: CUPE 3902 Special Strike Issue! – March 5, 2015

March 5th, 2015

1. Strike Headquarters
2. Strike General Information: Negotiations and Getting Involved
3. Strike General Information: Strike Breaking and Voting in UTGSU Elections
4. Strike General Information: Strike Accessibility and Affidavit Form for Incidents of Strike Reprisal and Loss of Work
5. Strike General Information: Strike Pay
6. Strike General Information: Bargaining Update
7. Solidarity Picket: End the Strikes – Support CUPE 3902 and 3903!
8. Academic Event & Conference Grant Applications – Deadline extended to Fri March 13, noon
9. Income Tax for Students!
10. All UTGSU Gym Programming Cancelled
11. Harvest Noon Fermentation Series – Kvass: Wed March 18, 6-9pm
12. Grad Minds presents: Open Minds 2015 Conference + Circus Berserkus – March 31, 5pm
13. OPIRG-Toronto’s Social and Environmental Justice Symposium Schedule is Now Up!
14. Try Scuba Diving for an Evening
15. Life Sciences Career Development Society Presents March Career Seminar: Careers in Government



March 3rd, 2015

Dear UTGSU Members,

As CUPE 3902 Unit 1 members are also UTGSU members, and as their working conditions impact all of our working conditions, the UTGSU Executive expresses our solidarity and encourages all of our members to support the strike.

If you are a CUPE 3902 Unit 1 member (i.e. if you are a TA or Course Instructor), we encourage you to join in on the strike by ceasing all of your TA or Course Instructor work and joining a picket line. All CUPE 3902 members who join picket lines are eligible for strike pay.

If you are not a CUPE 3902 Unit 1 member, please consider joining a picket line in solidarity with strike efforts. Gains for CUPE 3902 members hold benefits for all graduate students.

To join a picket line, please visit Strike HQ, located in the basement lounge of the UTGSU Building at 16 Bancroft Ave.

For other ways to support the strike, see the Students for CUPE 3902 Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/17LOpww

On Friday, Feb. 27th, CUPE 3902 unit 1 members made it clear that they would not accept the tentative agreement offered by the University Administration because it did not address the fact that the minimum guaranteed funding package is far below the poverty-line at $15,000/year. The strike commenced immediately after this decision. Picket lines will began on Monday, March 2nd.

Funding and fees are of primary concern to most graduate students. The UTGSU Executive has, time and time again, expressed these concerns to the University Administration – explicitly stating that graduate students need to earn a living wage and that we are paying too much in tuition and fees. And time and time again the University Administration has responded by brushing aside our concerns. However, on Friday, 1,000 members of Unit 1 (who are also UTGSU members) decisively rejected the tentative agreement and demanded that they be given a better standard of living!

For more information go to http://cupe3902.org/.

Digest: Debating Candidates & Mental Health Tuesday – February 27, 2015

February 27th, 2015

1. UTGSU Elections: Vote on March 10, 11, 12
2. Get to Know Your Candidates! UTGSU Candidates Debate: Wed March 4, 5-7pm
3. Successful Nominations for UTGSU Elections 2015
4. UTGSU Queer Caucus Pub Night: Thurs March 5, 7-11pm
5. UTGSU is Hiring Elections Promoters – Application Deadline Extended!
6. Grad Minds – Mental Health Tuesdays: Tues March 3, 6-7:30pm
7. Peer Support Program for Graduate Students: Wednesdays 4-5pm
8. Grad Escape: TIFF Bell LightBox Guided Tour: Tues March 10, 3-4pm
9. Grad Escape: Nia Fitness Class: Wed March 18, 5-6pm
10. Grad Talk: What Kind of Scholar are You?
11. Spaces Available at Campus & Community Cooperative Daycare
12. Manage Time, Manage Distractions (CCR Approved*): Mon March 9, 12-1:30pm
13. Deadline for the CIE 6th Annual Photography Contest: Mon March 2
14. USA VISA Information Session: Wed March 11, 1-3pm
15. Peers are Here for International Students: Friday 12-1pm
16. Inside the Industries: Wed March 4, 5-7:30pm
17. 3rd Toronto Mapuche Solidarity Film Festival: Fri Feb 27 & Sat Feb 28


Successful Nominations

February 24th, 2015

We are happy to announce the following successful nominations for the 2015 UTGSU Elections: (more…)

Poll Clerks Needed

February 22nd, 2015

We’re looking for poll clerks to staff our polling stations for the 2015 Elections! You must be a registered graduate student, be highly responsible and reliable, and have good people skills. It will be helpful to have a cellular phone with access to text messaging and a laptop to access information digitally. You must be available for a mandatory training session either on Wednesday March 4 or Thursday March 5th (times to be determined). Polling will be in various locations around campus, mainly at the St George campus with short shifts in Mississauga, Scarborough, Aerospace (Downsview) and Sunnybrook Hospital. Election days and times may vary, but will be roughly from 10:00-5:00 (one day of 7:00) on March 10 to 12. The hourly wage is $14/hr, to reflect the UTGSU minimum living wage campaign. This job opportunity is especially helpful for international students who do not have work permits as this wage is not taxed and you will receive one lump sum cheque at the end of the elections period.

If you are interested in this work, or know of a suitable student please send us an email to hiring@utgsu.ca by February 25th with the subject line: Poll Clerk Job Opportunity with a short paragraph explaining why you would be suitable for this role, your preferred days, times, poll locations and number of hours you would like to commit to. If possible, please note if you have a driver’s license and access to a vehicle; this is by no means a requirement, and it will not disadvantage those applicants who do not drive, but it is helpful to know in case we need drivers to go to the satellite locations. While we cannot guarantee these times or locations, we will do our best.