After 18 months without a contract, academic workers at the University of Ottawa have voted 91 percent in favour of strike action if the employer does not bring forward a proposal that addresses the affordability crisis, job security and quality education.

“As workers and as students, we are deeply concerned about how unaffordable it has become to work and study at the University of Ottawa. After unconstitutional wage restraint under Bill 124, there are real problems of liveability and those problems are interfering with the quality of education,” said Catherine Larocque, president of CUPE 2626.

CUPE 2626 has a diverse membership that includes teaching assistants, research assistants, tutors, demonstrators, correctors, lab monitors, and many others.

“We remain prepared to negotiate and hope the university will understand how difficult they have made life for workers on campus. The cost of rent, of food, of transportation are increasing much faster than our wages,” said Larocque. “That means we’re working extra jobs, living further from campus, and having less time to devote to our students. Our working conditions truly are their learning conditions.”