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OTTAWASessional lecturers at Carleton University have voted 84% in favour of strike action if a collective agreement cannot be reached with the university.

“Sessional lecturers are tired of being treated like cheap labour at Carleton,” says Fred Schultz, president of Local 4600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 350 sessional lecturers at Carleton. Local 4600 also represents 1200 teaching assistants who previously voted to strike if a deal cannot be reached.

“This administration has not adequately prepared for the double cohort that will put a tremendous strain on our university,” says Schultz. “Sessionals do much of the same work professors do at the university and have really no job security,” says Schultz. “The university pays no attention to professional development for sessionals and has not dealt with the issue of increasing class sizes – these issues affect every student at Carleton.”

“We have seen indications the university is prepared to use scabs to do the work of striking workers – that would be an attack on Carleton workers that would poison labour relations at the institution for many years to come,” warns John Gillies, CUPE National Representative.

“It’s time for Carleton to bargain fairly with us, or we will shut the university down – we’ll have no choice,” says Gillies.

“By courting scab labour and refusing to bargain fairly, Carleton is pushing for a strike that will hurt everyone at the university – and that’s something we don’t want,”

says Schultz. “We have strong strike mandates from both TA’s and sessional lecturers – and that means chaos for the university if a settlement cannot be reached soon. Students and the Carleton community, parents and residents in Ottawa, should contact university President Richard J. Van Loon and demand he respect fair labour practices and negotiate to avoid a strike.”

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For further information, please contact:

Fred Schultz, President, CUPE 4600, 613-265-2096, 613-520-7482

John Gillies, CUPE National Rep., 613-237-0115, 613-761-2569

Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications, 416-292-3999 ext. 216