Support staff at the University of Windsor could walk off the job next week after voting overwhelmingly over the weekend in favour of setting a strike deadline.
Negotiations are set to resume Tuesday between the university and the Canadian Auto Workers, which represents about 400 workers, including campus police, parking attendants, operating engineers and full and part-time office and clerical workers.
Members from the four groups of workers voted 96 per cent in favour of the Thursday, Oct. 21 strike deadline. It's the first time all four groups of workers bargained together and set the same deadline.
Mina Sarajcic, a national representative with the CAW, said the outstanding issues include pensions, job security as well as wages and benefits. She said there is frustration at the bargaining table over what she describes as interference from the Ontario government because it has pushed for public sector wage freezes.
"[Finance Minister] Dwight Duncan has come in a number of months ago and wanted to freeze wages in the public sector workers, and that was more the non-union group, and he attempted to get the universities on board," said Sarajcic.
Both the union and the university say no one wants a strike and both sides have pledged to negotiate this week and try to come up with an agreement.
Should there be a walkout, all frontline services would be impacted including services to students, heating and cooling of the buildings, parking and campus security.