The first day of the 2019 fall session at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) did not take place, and the union announced another 24-hour period of strike action at the gathering of strikers this Tuesday morning.

“In spite of all the messages we sent to management over the summer, the poster campaign and this strike day, management has turned a deaf ear to us. We are waiting for the employer to propose a return to the bargaining table. We have already taken a major step forward toward reaching an agreement. It is deplorable to see an institution the size of UQAM reserve that kind of treatment for the 1800 employees devoted to the success of both the university and especially the success of the students,” said Louisa Cordeiro, president of the Syndicat des employées et employés de l’UQAM (SEUQAM).

The SEUQAM has asked the university community to respect its right to bargain freely and to not cross the picket lines. Several student associations have called a strike in solidarity with the support employees.  

“We were hoping for a settlement, but when the employer presented its last offer in July, the response from the general meeting was almost unanimous – a strike vote was taken and received 93% support,” explained Louisa Cordeiro.

The 1800 support employees are demanding that the employer return to the table with a better offer on wages, the crux of the dispute. The offer to the members is lower than the one received by other employees in the Quebec university sector, which members of the SEUQAM find unacceptable.

UQAM employees have been without a collective agreement since May 31, 2017. The strike vote was held last July 3.