Duncan Watt
Vice-President (Finance and Administration) Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Dr. Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

Dear Mr. Watt,

As mandated by the Council of the Graduate Students’ Association, I write to you to express our opposition to the claw back of Teaching Assistant wages to compensate for the University’s human resources error. We do not believe it should fall on the shoulders of the employees, some of the most financially precarious in our campus community, to bear the burden of the administration’s two year long mistake. The GSA supports the position held by CUPE 4600 that this claw back is illegal according to Article 13 of the Employment Standards Act.

This issue arises at a crucial time for the recruitment of prospective graduate students. The impression created by both the long standing mistake and the response of the University to punish graduate students for its own error will inevitably have a negative impact upon the reputation of our institution.

At the University Senate meeting on February 17th, 2012 you mentioned that the University has forgiven the debt owed by former students affected by this error who have graduated. We believe the University should consistently apply such an approach for all students affected.

We trust that Carleton University will take the voices of graduate students into consideration and develop a more consistent and fair policy for dealing with the error in Teaching Assistant tuition fee index.

Elizabeth Whyte

cc. Dr. Roseann Runte, President
Dr. John Shepherd, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs
Lise Labine, Assistant Vice-President (Human Resources)