On their first day of school, students on both campuses were met with balloons and pickets brandishing union logos and various pro-worker slogans.
Concordia University’s support staff rallied on campus grounds yesterday to the tune of “We Will Rock You,” citing their discontent of the university’s treatment of its workers and calling for better working conditions.
While students looked on, some 50 Concordia staff members
representing several unions, including the tech sector and
library workers, marched across the Loyola terrain and in front of the Hall building where
Orientation Week celebrations were taking place.
Suzanne Downs, a spokesperson for the Support Services Union, said that the university had been “dragging its feet” on re-negotiating their contracts.
One protester, Kai Lee, has been working at Concordia for 26 years in the tech support wing of the chemistry department. He said there is not enough staff to take on the workload.
“When I was first hired, I had four or five sections to oversee, but now, it’s 13 to 14 per week,” he said, adding that while demands have gone up, the university has refused to hire extra staff.
Downs said the university’s inaction hurts the students most of all.
“We are the foundation of Concordia University,” she said. “They focus on admitting and admitting, but we are not able to provide the same level of service to all these students.”