Strike pay is tax-free remuneration provided to members who lose income as a result of their support for job action. Associations’ policies and practices regarding strike pay should be guided by two principles: minimizing the hardship that members face as a result of job action and compensating members for their participation in job action.
Strike pay should begin on the first day of job action. Total strike pay should be determined by the member’s participation in the required duties as established by the academic staff association Executive and commensurate with established national expectations for strike activities. Support for job action will take the form of refusal to fulfill professional duties for the Employer and participation in picketing or other daily duties as defined and assigned by the academic staff association. The disbursement of strike pay should be contingent on the satisfactory fulfilment of these duties. In the event of rotating strike activity the allocation of pay will be disbursed on a pro-rata basis.
All members, regardless of regular or contract status, rank, and nature of appointment, are eligible for full strike pay. Members who normally work daytime hours are expected to support the strike with daily service during weekdays. Those who normally work evenings and who have bona fide obligations during daytime hours should be either excused or allocated other duties, as should academic staff who live at a distance and teach online. Associations should excuse or provide alternate duties to members who are unable to fulfill picketing duties for medical, accommodation-related, or family reasons. For example, members can be assigned leafleting, media monitoring, answering phones and emails, organizing rallies and meetings, preparing and delivering food, or other strike-related activities. Associations’ job-action policies should detail the criteria for being excused or accommodated with alternate duties. Strike policies should be made available to all members on association web sites.
Academic staff associations should have local defence funds sufficient for the costs of job action. An adequate fund also carries weight at the bargaining table. Associations that are members of the CAUT Defence Fund are responsible for strike pay in the first three days of job action before Defence Fund support begins. Depending on their own practices, local associations may also bear additional costs, such as supplemental daily payments for members, interest-free loans to members, and final tax-free payments to members at the end of the strike. To ensure consistently adequate resources in the defence fund, constitutional mechanisms should provide for an automatic, temporary dues increase to rebuild the local defence fund when it falls below a predetermined level.
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2017.