Concordia University Faculty Association has voted to go on strike for the first time in its history.
The union held a general assembly March 9 in which a motion for strike action passed with a three-quarters majority. CUFA represents 1,000 regular academic staff at the Montreal campus, and 740 of the union’s eligible members cast a ballot.
CUFA president Lucie Lequin said the historically high voter turnout and the strong response are a result of protracted contract negotiations with the university administration, and reflect the level of frustration among faculty at Concordia.
“Professors working at Concordia University have sent a clear message to their employer — they’ve had enough of the university’s recalcitrance,” she said.
“We’ve been at the bargaining table for 15 months. We’ve met with the employer about 45 times — five of these meetings even took place with a conciliator present — and we still don’t have a new contract.”
A number of issues remain in dispute, including salary increases and workloads.
Now that the strike mandate has been approved, CUFA can provide 48-hour strike notice, which would place it in a legal position to take job action on campus.
“We will continue to make every effort to avoid a strike and reach a just and reasonable settlement,” said Lequin.