Organize UW Video Day

OUW Video Day Interviews

See what many of Organize UW's volunteers had to say about why they got involved in our grassroots union drive, and how we think our union will make a difference.

Monica, a PhD student in the Statistics department, describes how cost of living increases, including a 50% increase in rent, have not been met with any commensurate wage increases during her 6 years at UW, in the absence of collective bargaining. This puts Waterloo behind peer schools. An ostensible wage increase was clawed back through an equal cut to scholarships. Banding together in a union, Monica argues, is the one way we can ensure competitive and livable pay

Sidra, a graduate student in Peace & Conflict Studies, talks about the many barriers placed in front of international students, what the University of Waterloo could do to meet student needs instead of holding many back, and why she joined Organize UW: to have a place to empower student voices including hers and those of international students

Collin, a graduate worker in the Institute for Quantum Computing, talks about the instabilities and tenuousness of working as a graduate student, and how the solidarity of joining together in a union will let us push for a more stable and supportive workplace. He describes the personal and professional community he found by participating in Organize UW, and how a union is whatever we make it.

Joan, a graduate worker in the Institute for Quantum Computing, describes the lack of medical coverage for international students, lack of benefits, and the failure of wages to keep up with rent increases. She finds strength in the community surrounding Organize UW, and calls for us to sign cards also to helps support “those who maybe have it worse than you.”

Kavi, a PhD worker in the English department, talks about the isolating and atomizing aspects of the University of Waterloo, and how Organize UW offered them a space to find community outside of the competitive dynamics of graduate school. They point out how maintaining the exceptional role of the University of Waterloo in advanced research and education depends on adequately supporting, compensating, and representing the students and workers driving those achievements, which is what a union will ensure

Wilson talks about the high workload of TAships, and the difficulty of balancing expectations as a student and as a teacher. By forming a union - as Waterloo is the last university in Ontario without one - Wilson says we can ensure fair workloads and adequate support for Teaching Assistants

Ryan, an RA and TA in Waterloo, talks about how he's liked his experiences working in Waterloo, and wants a union to keep it that way. He describes how a union is a way for a group of colleagues to form one entity to represent their shared interest, and how it will help ensure job security.

Xue, a PhD worker, says that we only have things to gain by signing a union card. She points out that by exercising the legally protected right to form a union we will protect our job security and workplace benefits, and have an equal voice.

Committee to Organize UWaterloo
Committee to Organize UWaterloo
supported by CUPE

The Committee to Organize UWaterloo is a grassroots campaign to unionize the academic workers at the University of Waterloo. The campaign is supported by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Canada's largest union.