The York University Faculty Association (YUFA) is calling on Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) to reach a fair settlement with members of its workforce currently on strike. Custodians, groundskeepers and tradespeople, members of Local 926 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 926), went on strike on July 11 to defend good jobs and quality public services in Waterloo.
WLU is attempting to contract out the work of its employees, which would eliminate stable, secure jobs that pay a living wage, and to cut benefits for retirees.
"Good jobs mean good universities—and a higher quality of education for students," says Richard Wellen, President of YUFA. "We support members of CUPE 926 in their struggle against precarious, low-wage work and for the right of their members to retire in dignity."
WLU negotiators rejected a proposal by the union to send all outstanding issues to a neutral third party for binding arbitration, forcing the workers to take strike action.
"The university must get back to the table and negotiate a fair settlement for its workers," says Terry Maley, Vice-President External of YUFA. "The union has demonstrated its willingness to bargain. It's time for the university to do the same."
YUFA members can show their support for decent jobs, fair pay and good services by sending an email to WLU President and Vice-Chancellor, Max Blouw. More information about the strike is available on the CUPE 926 website.
"We are proud of YUFA's history of supporting struggles like these," says Wellen. "Every bit of solidarity makes a difference, and we commit to helping these workers win a fair and just deal."
YUFA represents approximately 1,500 faculty, librarians and postdoctoral visitors at York University. For more information, please visit yufa.ca.