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CAUT applauds Supreme Court’s ruling that confirms the right to strike as indispensable constitutional right

The Canadian Association of University Teachers welcomes today’s Supreme Court of Canada decision recognizing the right to strike in collective bargaining.

“While striking is always considered a last resort, it is fundamentally important for workers to be able to collectively withdraw their services to ensure fair and equitable negotiations,” said Robin Vose, President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. “Workers across Canada have much to celebrate for this affirmation of their constitutional protection of their freedom to associate.”

In its ruling on the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, the Supreme Court determined that the ability to strike promotes equality in the collective bargaining process. It further stated that a meaningful process of collective bargaining protects important values of “human dignity, equality, liberty, respect for autonomy of the person and the enhancement of democracy.” 

The Court also found that a Saskatchewan law that includes university staff as essential service workers is unconstitutional.

“This crucial decision sends a strong message to lawmakers and employers who attempt to dismiss or weaken the rights of workers at the bargaining table,” said Vose.