STU staff union on strike alert

The St. Thomas Staff and Administrative Union has called a strike alert after no dates were set with the administration to go back to the table.

“It’s frustrating,” said union member Carrie Monteith-Levesque. “We’ve committed to this process for over four years and we’re willing to continue to try and reach a negotiated first collective agreement.”

Staff union members handed out “Strike Alert” buttons to faculty, students and union supporters in JDH on Friday morning. The union is in the process of negotiating its first contract after organizing four years ago, but talks with STU administration have stalled.

“It doesn’t benefit anyone to negotiate against themselves so we are hoping that we have some momentum, there are some good exchanges – like we had before it ceased,” she said.

The union and the administration’s lawyers met this week and were unable to set a date for negotiation, said union president Jennifer Burry.

“Nothing productive has happened at all,” said Burry. “Nothing came of that conversation, no dates were set.”

“We don’t want to take job action, however being on strike alert lets everybody know what’s going on. Here today we are talking to faculty, students and staff to let them know our situation and make sure they know what’s going on.”

Burry said the goal is to get back to the table and negotiate a collective agreement.

The members of the staff union and supporters will be picketing as a strike alert on Monday morning at 7:15 a.m. in Vanier parking lot before members have to go to work.

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