Letter from U of T unions and UTFA to President Gertler on the provincial gov’t attacks on universities.

May 10, 2019
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President Meric Gertler
Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity Kelly Hannah-Moffat
Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr
Vice-President Operations and Real Estate Partnerships Scott Mabury
May 8, 2019

Dear President Gertler and Vice-Presidents Hannah-Moffat, Regehr and Mabury,

We are writing to you as the representatives of 21,208 faculty and staff at the University of Toronto. Our members are the human link between institution and student and are deeply committed to the University's mission. Our work is essential to the University's teaching, research, libraries, student life, administration and physical infrastructure. We hope that the University is equally committed to adequately supporting its faculty and staff financially so that we can continue providing these services to the best of our abilities.

We are deeply concerned about the Provincial Government's announced changes affecting the post-secondary sector.

These include the following:

•    cutting domestic tuition fees by 10% after years of underfunding universities
•    cutting $670 million to student assistance
•    undermining student services and advocacy by making some ancillary fees voluntary
•    limiting post-secondary budget increases to .4%
•    increasing the percentage of performance-based funding
•    overriding collective agreements to alter the compensation of employees who must draw a pension at 71

All of these changes will have a dramatic impact on the University and the sector as a whole. We have already seen from the University's 2019-2020 Budget Report that the changes to tuition fees alone represent a reduction of $88 million in revenue in 2019-2020 from previous projections.

We would like the opportunity to meet with you to raise our concerns about the impact of these changes will have on our members. We would like to know how the University of Toronto is planning to respond to the provincial government's initiatives and how together we might challenge them. It ls essential that we start a dialogue and work collaboratively to limit the negative impact of the provincial government's threats to learning and employment at the University of Toronto.

Colleen Burke
President, USW local 1998

Allan James
President, CUPE 3261

Cynthia Messenger
President, UTFA

Wasyl Sydorenko President
CUPE 1230

Jess Taylor
Chair, CUPE 3902

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