Striking workers at Carleton University will engage with young people and their parents who are arriving tomorrow to take part in the campus’s March-break recruitment event for prospective students.

“It’s our opportunity to speak to potential Carleton students and their families as they cross our picket lines,” said Jerrett Clark, president of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) 2424, the union that represents administrative, technical and library staff at Carleton. 

“We want them to know why we’re defending our pensions and why it’s such an important issue to us as workers and as Canadians.”

During the labour disruption, CUPE 2424 has set up pickets at both traffic entrances to Carleton’s campus on Bronson Avenue and Colonel By Drive.

The union has prepared a special flyer to distribute on Saturday, explaining that workers simply want to keep their existing bargaining rights around pensions. The hand-out also emphasizes that current pension safeguards are the same that unionized staff have at other Ontario universities, including Queen’s and York. The flyer also refers visitors to an online letter, which expresses support for workers and urges Carleton’s President to help put an end to the strike.

Steady attendance is expected at Carleton’s event, scheduled from 10:30 am. and 2 p.m. However, Saturday’s student recruitment event will take place without the usual departmental tables and presentations that accompany other open-house events.

Earlier this week, 230 members of Carleton’s faculty signed an open letter in support of CUPE 2424, describing its members as “an indispensable constituency in Carleton’s community” that has “served Carleton with conscientiousness and devotion.” Signatories to the letter emphasize “Many of us have participated in outreach activities in order to showcase the kind of work we do at Carleton and the kind of community we proudly represent” and caution the university about allowing the labour dispute to create “a bruised and disaffected workforce, a demoralized student body, and a mistrustful and suspicious faculty attitude towards the Administration.”