Check out the candidates up for election of Lead Steward of Unit 3!

Voting polls will be open on April 24, 2024 from 9:00am to 7:00pm.

All members eligible to vote will receive an email from SimplyVoting prior to polls opening.
If you think you should be able to vote and don’t receive an email, please email Chief Returning Officer, Julian, at and
include your Member ID.


Jamie Ashby

As I sit down to write this, I am facing multiple responsibilities and realities. I have a giant stack of end-of-term marking, I am preparing for a couple of summer courses, and I am trying to be there for my daughter, who recently came down with COVID, while also worrying that I might inevitably come down with it too (for the second time), despite all the vaccinations and uninterrupted public masking.

However, like you (I imagine), I often do my best work under pressure. As contract academic workers, we often do not have much of a choice. I have taught across all three UofT campuses, and at TMU, OCAD U, Trent, Brock, and Windsor as well, having managed to cobble together something of a “career” in incredibly precarious circumstances. I love teaching, but I also know that we are not always respected by the institutions that hire us, even though, at this stage, we aren’t simply “filling in” but actually doing most of the teaching at any given time.

I know things could be better, and over the past few years, I dedicated myself to helping CUPE 3902 make all our lives more bearable. Since we are going into a bargaining year, one of my key responsibilities would be to serve as Bargaining Support Committee Chair, and I cut my teeth at CUPE 3902 in that very role. In May 2017, I became the Co-Chair of the Bargaining Support Committee; I was asked to take over the role of Chair in mid-October. I also served as a Steward and as a Grievance Divisional Steward during the same period. I spearheaded the organization of information sessions and the Bargaining Committee blog. Through such strategies as postering, phonebanking, doorknocking, and mapping membership data, I helped to ensure strong turnouts for both meetings and crucial votes. Furthermore, I helped increase the number of stewards representing Unit 3 and strengthened connections with our members working on the “satellite” campuses in Mississauga and Scarborough. I also helped to launch a Twitter campaign (#WeAreUnit3) to support the Bargaining Committee. Combining traditional hand-drawn posters with new media, we were able to bring to the public’s attention both the precarious situation of contract academic workers in general and the efforts of our own Bargaining Committee to address this problem in particular. We actively sought personal messages from our members, and I believe that our efforts helped to win over public sympathy and inspire more members of the Local to become involved in the campaign. My commitment and creativity were widely acknowledged, so much so that I was eventually asked to join the Bargaining Support Committee for Unit 1 as well!

I went on to serve as Grievance Officer and then Second Vice-President, but I am eager to return to my roots in a more activist position. I have met many of you before in the workplace or at union events, and I am looking forward to meeting many more of you over the year to come!

Declaration of Conflict of Interest

I am not aware of any existing or potential conflict of interest that could compromise either my campaign or the duties of my office, should I be elected.


Dave DeGrow

My name is Dave, and I am a teacher, theatre maker and organizer working in Toronto. I have been working for our members since 2016, when I became the Unit 1 steward for the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (2016 – 2018), and then the Unit 1 steward for the Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (2020-2022). In 2022 I applied for a position as a phone banker and a member mobilizer, and I have been campaigning for our members ever since, first on the Unit 3 collective bargaining campaign in 2022, and for the last year on our victorious Unit 5 campaign. If you were around the Scarborough campus this year you may  have seen me at the CUPE Coffee Hours in the Meeting Place or the Student Centre, or you may have joined me at the information picket there in February (imagine a beard my headshot). 

My favourite part of all of this work has been talking with members, learning about their concerns and engaging them with our campaigns, and assisting them to gain access to things like their healthcare accounts and the union’s benefits.

This fall I joined Unit 3 as the Course Instructor for Stagecraft I at UTSC, and in January I was honoured to join the steward’s council. In discussion with our outgoing Lead Steward, I decided I had the right skills to support Unit 3’s membership and bargaining team during this important bargaining year by taking on the role of Lead Steward. 

In my other life in the theatre industry I am a professional production manager, and so running meetings and moving information between stakeholders is my primary business. As a long-time steward I am deeply familiar with CUPE’s processes and benefits, and with the issues facing our membership. As a member mobilizer, I have been campaigning for better collective bargains for the last two years, and am eager to pass on my experience to the folks who will be talking directly to our members across the University. And as a trained picket Captain who was on the line at our information pickets in 2021 and 2024, I am among the most prepared to coordinate a strike if it comes to that.

For all these reasons, I hope you will consider me for Lead Steward, Unit 3. But no matter what happens, I will still be campaigning hard for better pay and conditions for our members, and I look forward to working with all of you.

I have no conflicts of interest to declare.