Response to RSU layoffs

[November 11, 2020 – 7:40pm]

Dear Ryerson Community,

The Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson (CESAR) condemns the actions of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) through their layoff of five full-time unionized workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Over the past five months, the RSU has laid off five full-time unionized workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These layoffs became permanent terminations four months after the layoff – terminations mean a cancellation of health and dental benefits and no severance. Several of these workers have given years of service to the students’ union.

CESAR staff and volunteers have worked closely with RSU staff and we are gravely disappointed in the lack of care and empathy that the RSU management have given workers that have been dedicated to and have made the organization work even during disorganized leadership. As students’ unions it is our duty to create a more socially just world for our members. This includes treating workers with dignity and respect.  This is a time where we should be fighting together against cuts and austerity, not imposing it ourselves within our organizations.

The RSU is beholden to its members. We encourage members to email their board members and executives to lobby for fairness for workers, particularly President Ali Yousef at Several board members have already submitted motions to this effect. You can also sign a petition from CUPE 1281 here.

In solidarity,

Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson