Canada: Indefinite strike at Laval University

A total of 2000 university teachers have been on strike since the 14th of March after management refused to make concessions to their demands.

Submitted by jef costello on April 2, 2007

The strike concerns chargés de cours, who are teachers who are employed part-time to teach specific lessons. They are not permanent employees and are paid significantly less than permanent full-time teachers. The SCCCUL (Syndicat des chargés et chargées de cours de l'Université Laval) is demanding a pay rise and improved working conditions for the chargés de cours in recognition of the fact that the work that they do is no different to that of permanent staff.

The refusal of the management to budge during initial negotiations led to an indefinite strike being called, management claimed that they were able to cover 800 of the posts themselves or with permanent staff. The strike has increased in militancy recently with strikers beginning to heavily picket the university, with most classes being cancelled. The union has issued a statement recognising "the students have a right to their lessons, they have a right to be taught by the same staff as before, once these staff have been given a collective agreement recognising their rights.

Last Wednesday 100 strikers held a sit-in in the assistant rector's offices, the previous day they blocked a nearby motorway. There are daily demonstrations and pickets.