University of Windsor profs back CUPE 1393, cancel classes

Members of the Windsor University Faculty Association elected to honour the CUPE 1393 picket line Tuesday at the University of Windsor.
The Windsor University Faculty Association showed support for striking CUPE 1393 Tuesday. (Makda Ghebreslassie/CBC News)

Members of the Windsor University Faculty Association elected to honour the CUPE 1393 picket line Tuesday at the University of Windsor.

Unionized faculty cancelled classes across campus.

Brian E. Brown, the association's president, didn't know exactly how many members refused to cross the line or how many classes were cancelled.

"There have been an awful lot of [professors] cancel classes and put a work plan into their dean that explains how they're going to make up class, if they're cancelled today," he said. "It's part of our collective agreement. Everyone has the right to respect the picket line."

CUPE 1393 strike co-ordinator Aldo DiCarlo appreciated the support.

"They’ve supported us from Day 1, in one form or another," DiCarlo said.

Some professors previously cancelled class in support of CUPE 1393.

"It's unfortunate we have a work stoppage but it's the only tool CUPE 1393 has at this point," Brown said. 

DiCarlo and Brown both said the students are caught in the middle.

"They’re absolutely in the middle. It’s always going to be hard to explain to students where they fit in, in this thing," DiCarlo said. 

However, DiCarlo said the strike could benefit some students in the long run.

"We’re trying to maintain the type of jobs and salaries they’ll want when they graduate," DiCarlo said.

He claimed "a good chunk" of CUPE 1393 are "recent grads" of the University of Windsor.

"It's very difficult for the students and very difficult for the faculty," Brown said. "They've paid for an education.  We want them back in the classroom."

Brown said if the strike continues and CUPE 1393 requests the faculty association cancel classes next week, it will request its members do so.

The University of Windsor and CUPE 1393 were scheduled to be at the bargaining table again Tuesday.

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