Tell Dalhousie's Executive Board that TAs and PTAs Deserve Better than a Pay Cut

Tell Dalhousie's Executive Board that TAs and PTAs Deserve Better than a Pay Cut

September 12, 2022
Petition to
Dalhousie's Board of Governors (Dalhousie University) and 21 others
Signatures: 7,005Next Goal: 7,500
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by CUPE 3912


Part-time academics and teaching assistants at Dalhousie have some of the lowest wages in Canada, while tuition fees and the cost of living are skyrocketing!

Show your support!
CUPE 3912 represents more than 3000 precarious academics, including teaching assistants (TAs), markers/demonstrators, and part-time instructors (PTAs) working at Dalhousie University (Dal), Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), and Saint Mary’s University (SMU). We are your teachers, students, classmates, and friends in the Halifax university community.

At a time when university tuition is rising, universities across Canada are increasingly reliant on part-time, precariously employed academic staff like us. Simply put, our schools work because we do. 

What's going on?
While we love what we do and would rather continue to teach, the administration of Dalhousie University refuses to negotiate a reasonable collective agreement. We have now been without an agreement for 2 years despite continued discussions. In March, our membership voted to authorize a strike if the terms of the agreement proposed by the administration of Dalhousie did not improve.

Since then, despite our efforts to negotiate with the administration of Dalhousie, the proposed agreement has seen no meaningful change.

One major issue with the administration of Dalhousie’s proposal is the abysmally low wages. While tuition fees at Dalhousie have continued to rise, wages for precarious academics have remained stagnant and low, especially in comparison to other universities; we have some of the lowest wages in Canada. For contract faculty at Dalhousie, per-semester course rates are the second lowest of the 12 universities the administration of Dalhousie uses to compare when determining salaries for full-time faculty. In addition, we have no benefits and little job security. For teaching assistants, as of September 2022, our hourly wage is less than half of what teaching assistants at Western University in London, Ontario are paid.

In addition, we have not received a pay raise in 3 years. Meanwhile, inflation has reached a historical 40 year high and the cost of living in Halifax has grown even faster. Despite this, the most recent agreement proposed by the administration of Dalhousie and voted down by CUPE 3912 membership amounted to approximately a 10% pay cut in real, inflation-adjusted wages for most CUPE 3912 members at Dalhousie. Meanwhile, the university president decided to take on a 13% pay raise this year.

Unfortunately, Dalhousie’s Board of Governors does not seem to care if their teachers cannot afford food to eat.

Help us send a message to Dalhousie’s Executive Board! 
The administration of Dalhousie’s plan to exploit its teachers will cause significant disruptions to university education. The Board of Governor’s failure to properly allocate the university’s ever-increasing tuition will cause classes to be cancelled and courses to go ungraded.

Students and contract academic staff deserve better.

As teachers and members of CUPE 3912, we want to keep the university running, but the greed and poor management of Dalhousie University’s Board of Governors cannot continue.

The Petition
Dear Dalhousie Board of Governors,

I am writing to express my support of CUPE 3912’s demand for living wages and fair working conditions.

Dalhousie’s part-time instructors, teaching assistants, and markers and demonstrations have given the university the reputation of being among the best in Canada. The university relies on their labour to ensure that classes are delivered and student assignments are marked. 

Yet CUPE 3912’s members do not receive fair compensation or job security for their effort and talent. Instead, they are paid some of the lowest wages among Canada’s 15 research universities (U15).

I call on Dalhousie’s Board of Governors to meet CUPE 3912’s rightful demands for living wages and fair working conditions.

Sincerely yours,

Our Website

Support now
Signatures: 7,005Next Goal: 7,500
Support now

Decision Makers

  • Dalhousie's Board of GovernorsDalhousie University
  • Deep SainiDalhousie University, President
  • Gitta KulczyckiDalhousie University, VP Finance
  • Scott BrisonDalhousie University, Chancellor
  • Robert HanfDalhousie University, Board of Governors, Chair