The first day of the 2019 fall session at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) will not take place. The university’s support employees will go on strike on September 3, 2019 at 12:01 am for 24 hours.

“The university community has been asked to respect our rights to collective bargaining and not cross the picket lines on Tuesday morning. We are still waiting for the employer to get back to us. We were hoping for a settlement, but in light of the employer’s last offer that was presented point by point in July, the general meeting responded by calling a strike vote, which received the support of 93% of participants,” explained Louisa Cordeiro, president of the Syndicat des employées et employés de l’UQAM (SEUQAM).

The 1800 support employees are demanding that the employer return to the bargaining table with a better wage offer, which is the crux of the dispute. The offer made to the membership is lower than those obtained by other employees in the Quebec university sector, which members of the SEUCAM believe is unacceptable.

“The union’s offer is more than reasonable. We understand the effort needed to balance the budget. Our members have already helped the university achieve its objectives, particularly by going about their work with a reduced staff for several years, at times at the cost to their health,” she added.

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

“In an economic environment rife with labour shortages, we do wish to remind management that our membership provides the university community with quality services. We want to continue contributing to the progress of our institution,” said Ms. Cordeiro.