Contract academic workers at the University of Toronto have given their union a 91 per cent mandate in favour of strike action as they work towards a new contract.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the workers include non-student sessional lecturers, writing instructors and music professionals.

CUPE says the key issue is how post-secondary institutions rely on "precarious labour," with sessional lecturers at the university delivering more than 20 per cent of all undergraduate teaching, yet earn less and have little to no job security.

Union official Jess Taylor says after four months of bargaining, they have made some gains at the table in terms of wage increases, but contract workers need a pathway to permanent employment.

The University of Toronto says it's committed to reaching a new collective agreement for the approximately 1,200 sessional instructors.

The two sides are scheduled to resume bargaining on Friday and Taylor says the union hopes the strike mandate message is "well received" by university negotiators.