Black Lives Matter

The CUPE 4600 Executive Board, on behalf of nearly 3,000 teaching assistants and contract instructors, expresses its solidarity and support for the ongoing protests and rebellions against anti-Black racism and police brutality. We salute all those standing against racism and especially commend the actions of our fellow workers in American Transit Union local 1005 who have refused to transport protestors to prison on their busses.  

We condemn in the strongest terms the extrajudicial murder of George Floyd by Minnesota Police, the apparent murder of Regis Korchinski-Paquet by Toronto Police, and all other instances of police repression and violence. Police forces for too long have been allowed and encouraged to act with impunity. These incidents cannot be viewed in isolation but are the bitter harvests of policies and institutions sown with anti-Black, racist, and colonial intentions. In Ottawa, the violent and racist behaviour of the police is well documented. 

As workers, struggles against racism and police repression directly concern us. Some of the earliest labour fights in this country were against police repression and discrimination towards immigrant workers. Racialized working people face violence and oppression both in and outside of work spaces. With these facts in mind, we have donated on behalf of our membership to the Justice for Regis fundraiser and will continue to provide support, financial and otherwise, to the ongoing movement for justice. If any of our members, particularly racialized members, have suggestions for initiatives you would like to see CUPE 4600 support, please feel free to contact us at info@cupe4600.ca.

We reiterate our commitment to the struggle for the end to all forms of racial discrimination in our Union and our workplace. We will do this by continuing to support the Cops Out of CUPE campaign to remove police and prison guard unions from CUPE national union, providing functioning equity services and safe spaces, and ensuring the rights of our racialized members are respected by the employer. 

Furthermore, we endorse the petition initiated by the Criminalization and Punishment Education Project to the City of Ottawa to defund the Ottawa Police and instead invest in social services. It is unacceptable that even in the midst of a global pandemic our governments continue to prioritize policing while our fellow workers in the medical sector lack access to necessary equipment and people go without basic services. We encourage our members to write to their ward councillor using the CPEP template. We stand in solidarity with similar demands being raised across the country. 

The current movement against racist policing has already united hundreds of thousands of working people from different communities across the continent. We stand with racialized and Indigenous peoples fighting racist police violence and we call on our fellow union members and workers across Canada to build the struggle against racism and for equality and justice.

Members are encouraged to send funds to the ActBlue Bail Funds which splits donations among bail funds across the United States to ensure protestors are kept safe and able to exercise their rights.