Part-Time Academics and Teaching Assistants at Dalhousie Go on Strike

Halifax, NS (October 19, 2022) – Part-Time Academics, Teaching Assistants, Markers, and Demonstrators at Dalhousie University, members of Local 3912 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3912), commenced a legal strike against their employer today.

The main issue driving the strike is wages. Dalhousie University has been paying CUPE 3912 members substantially less than other comparable Canadian research universities (U15) have paid for comparable work. The wage gap was evident already in 2019, when the CUPE 3912 members received their last raise. Due to inflation, this wage gap has worsened considerably in the three years since.

“Despite soaring inflation, we have not received even a basic cost of living raise for over three years,” said Dr. Gabor Lukacs, Communications Officer of CUPE 3912. “The cost of living in Nova Scotia is high and getting higher, but wages have not kept up. We have members who are resorting to food banks while working and studying full-time,“ he added.

Part-Time Academics teach courses with the same responsibilities as full-time professors but are hired on a course-by-course basis, for a small fraction of a professor’s salary, and without any benefits. Teaching Assistants, Markers, and Demonstrators hold tutorials, mark assignments, and run labs that are essential for students’ learning experiences.

The strike commenced at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Picket lines are expected to be established on Dalhousie’s Studley campus by Wednesday morning.

Dalhouise responded to the strike by giving notice to lock out CUPE 3912 members beginning on  Thursday. The strike and the lockout will significantly disrupt courses taught and supported by CUPE 3912 members. Lectures will not be delivered. Tutorials and labs held by Teaching Assistants and Demonstrators will be cancelled. Assignments and exams will not be marked.

“We love to teach, and love our students, but our members also have to eat and pay their bills,” said Dr. Lukacs. “We urge students, members of other unions on campus, and the general public to join us in calling on Dalhousie to return to the bargaining table and offer us fair wages.”

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About CUPE 3912

CUPE 3912 is Nova Scotia’s largest university union, proudly representing 3000+ precarious academic workers in 4 bargaining units at Dalhousie University (Dal), Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), and Saint Mary’s University (SMU).

CUPE 3912’s members are part-time instructors at all three institutions, language instructors at The Language Centre at SMU, and teaching assistants, markers, and demonstrators at Dal.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Gabor Lukacs, CUPE 3912 Communications Officer
Tel: 647-724-1727

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