Part-time lecturers vote to authorize strike

Ryerson’s part-time instructors have authorized their union to call a strike if further negotiations with the university don’t result in a contract agreement.

According to an email sent to members Friday evening, 91 per cent of those who voted gave the union executive the strike mandate.

Although the vote does not necessarily mean there will be a strike, Joseph Zboralski, a politics professor who serves as the president of CUPE 3904, said it took place because “simply, the two sides were too far apart.”

The union represents 2,500 sessional contract lecturers, graduate assistants and teaching assistants. Their last contract expired last summer. The email sent to union members Friday didn’t disclose voter turnout.

The province will provide a conciliator for the next bargaining meeting, which is slated for Feb. 16.

Members had two weeks to vote, Zboralski said. He declined to comment on negotiations.

Zandra Alexander of Ryerson public affairs said, “it would be premature to address how a potential strike would be managed by the university.”

The last contract negotiations were held in 2015, and they were successful in avoiding a strike.

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