Striking workers on a picket lineTeaching assistants, part-time academics, markers, and demonstrators at Dalhousie University (Dal) in Halifax went on strike this morning. Approximately 1,500 members of CUPE 3912 at Dal have been in collective bargaining with the employer since November 2020.

The main issue is wages. For many years, wage increases have not kept up with the cost of living. The employer is offering a wage increase that is well below inflation, and CUPE 3912 members will not accept a pay cut.

Wage parity is an issue for teaching assistants who are some of the lowest paid in the U15 (Canada’s top research universities). There is also a large disparity between wages for part-time academics here and at other universities in Canada. The university is taking advantage of markers and demonstrators by asking them to perform the function of TAs, but only paying them two-thirds of what TAs are paid. 

Yesterday, the employer walked away from the table and gave notice of intent to lockout union members within 48 hours.

“We urge students, members of other unions on campus, and the general public to join us in calling on Dalhousie to return to the bargaining table and offer us fair wages.”

The previous collective agreement expired in August 2020. A tentative agreement was reached in April 2022, however union members voted to reject it in June 2022.

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For updates, please follow the strike online. #DalStrike

Twitter: @cupe3912