Unionized teaching assistants, part-time academics, markers and demonstrators at Dalhousie University will strike on Wednesday, Oct. 18.
After negotiations between the university’s administration and members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3912 (CUPE 3912) broke down on Sept. 29, the union announced its intention to walk out on Oct. 19.
The two sides arranged last-minute negotiations on Oct. 17 and 18 in an attempt to avoid a strike this week. But talks came to a halt on Tuesday afternoon. According to CUPE communications officer Gabor Lukacs, Dal’s representatives walked from the negotiating table when the union refused their current offer.
Dal made news of the unsuccessful negotiations official in an email to students and faculty on Tuesday evening. In the memo, the university shared a webpage within its labour relations site with information on its response to the strike. The university said the final proposal made to CUPE 3912’s bargaining team on Oct. 18 will be posted on the site on Oct. 19.
“This is not the outcome we wanted,” the email read.
On its Twitter page, the union said Dalhousie “has ended negotiations with CUPE 3912” while announcing its plan to picket. Strikers plan to picket between the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building and the Dalhousie Student Union Building at 8 a.m. on Oct. 19.
“See you on the picket lines,” CUPE 3912 tweeted.
During the strike, classes taught by CUPE 3912 members will halt. Other classes will continue even if their TAs or other union members working in the course are striking. In some courses, this could cause issues as fewer faculty members will be present to lecture, assist or grade assignments.
Both the university and CUPE 3912 said specific details for each course in preparation for the strike will be disclosed to students by the course’s instructor.
More to come.