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Nova Scotia’s largest university union CUPE 3912 on strike

(Ottawa – October 21, 2022) CAUT member association CUPE 3912 went on strike this week to demand long overdue pay increases, among other bargaining demands.  

“...unfortunately, the last message from the university's bargaining team on the 29 September was that unless we go on strike, we are not going to get the increases we are seeking,” Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Communications Officer of CUPE 3912, said in an interview with Global TV Halifax the day before the strike commenced on October 19. 

The union is comprised of over 3,000 part-time academics, teaching assistants, markers, and demonstrators at Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), and Saint Mary’s University (SMU). They are seeking fair working conditions and pay raises that would, as Lukacs said, “...put us into a situation that is comparable financially to our peers at other Canadian research universities and compensate for inflation.”  

The Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) has released a public statement of solidarity with members of CUPE 3912. The DSU that represents over 20,000 Dalhousie students, calls on Dalhousie University to meet the union’s demands for living wages and fair working conditions for the academic workers who the DSU noted “...form the backbone of Dalhousie’s teaching and learning infrastructure.” 

Dalhousie’s public sector compensation report for 2021-2022 showed, among other senior administrator salary increases, President Saini’s salary increased 13 percent to $558,154 last year. This, while university workers are joining picket lines to demand an increase in wages that have not budged for more than three years despite inflation. 

“The cost of living in Nova Scotia is high and getting higher, but wages have not kept up,” said Lukacs. “We have members who are resorting to food banks while working and studying full-time. 

CAUT stands in full solidarity with CUPE 3912 and urges members to contact senior leadership at Dalhousie, MSVU, and SMU urging them to get back to the table to reach a fair deal.