Instructors, lab demonstrators, course coordinators, marker-graders and teaching assistants (TAs) at Brock University have voted to take strike action if they cannot agree to a suitable contract with the university.

Local 4207 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 4207), which represents the academic workers at Brock, has been negotiating for living wages, stable employment and benefits.

The strike vote was held over two days. The union is happy with the results.

“This is a clear message from our members,” said Phil Wachel, president of CUPE 4207, “they want Brock to do something about the poverty wages and precarious work that they face. They want to work at the version of Brock they see in PR campaigns.”

CUPE 4207 recently launched an ad campaign to draw attention to Brock University’s self-promotion as a top employer in the Hamilton-Niagara Region and the precarious working conditions and poverty wages that academic workers on campus must endure.

“We are just trying to show that the Brock that gets presented as a top employer does not resemble the Brock where our members work,” Wachel said of the campaign. “We are hoping that, in these negotiations, we can arrive at a contract that makes Brock a top employer for everyone, but if that doesn’t happen, our members have indicated that they are prepared to take strike action.”