A legal strike is one of the most important and powerful tools available to academic staff associations during collective bargaining. Striking is a hard-fought right and should never be relinquished voluntarily.
The key element of an effective strike is the withdrawal of academic labour, which creates pressure on the employer to improve the contract offer. Ancillary benefits of a strike can include increasing stakeholder awareness of association priorities and building solidarity with colleagues.
Effective strikes require careful planning, coordination, and communication. Strategic objectives should be established in advance of strike action.
Academic staff associations should regularly review and update policies to guide decision-making during a strike, in areas such as picketing, strike pay and benefits, communications, health and safety, wellness, and alternative duties.
Accessibility should be a key component of strike planning, so that all association members can participate.
Associations should regularly review applicable provincial regulations for strikes.
Member associations should become familiar with the resources offered by CAUT and the CAUT Defence Fund to support strikes.
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2023.