Faculty votes in favour of strike at University of Windsor

Windsor University Faculty Association members, made up of faculty and staff, have voted to strike.

81.4 per cent of university union members voted to strike

University of Windsor faculty and staff are voting on whether they would take strike action. (CBC News)

Windsor University Faculty Association members, made up of faculty and staff, have voted to strike. 

WUFA President Anne Forrest said results came in at 81.4 per cent in favour of taking strike action.  

The strike vote comes after  faculty has rejected the school's "final offer."

Administration went ahead and implemented the terms and conditions of that final offer last month.

The two sides have been at odds for most of the summer trying to come to agreeable terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. 

"We are working here and we are doing our jobs, but we should get a fair contract, we should be heard, but the university is not listening to us, they are not doing any negotiation," said Abida Mansoora, a sessional instructor teaching math. 

Mansoora said she's most upset because "if they can't afford they should just give us the reason why they cannot afford those things, not just walk away from the table." 

Forrest said even if the group votes to strike it doesn't mean that's what will happen. 

"Everybody has in their minds that the meaning of a strike is that immediately everybody's out on the street and that's not at all what we are planning," said Forrest. "Our thinking is that our strike vote will tell the administration that WUFA negotiating team really does represent the interests and the desires of the members so that they'll come back to the table." 

Forrest said she hopes this action will demonstrate to administration they want a collective agreement before classes start. 

"It's a statement by us that we have to be dealt with, we can't be overlooked as a union, the administration needs to negotiate with the union not individual members and it needs to respect our demand for a collective voice at the bargaining table." 

Previously, University President Alan Wildeman told faculty, librarians, ancillary academic staff and sensational lecturers the school will implement its "final offer," which was presented July 15. 

At the time he said that under Ontario's Labour Relations Act the university is allowed to put the contract into effect. 

Wildeman also said the school was willing to continue talks with the WUFA, but that "the university is not prepared to bargain with itself in the face of WUFA's unrealistic monetary expectations." 

Polls close at 4 p.m. and results will be available later Thursday evening. 


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