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STU staff vote on strike, still hope to negotiate

The St. Thomas University Support and Administration Union [STUSAU] voted for a strike last night when they voted against a final offer on their first contract.

The union’s 51 members all showed up to vote to either accept or reject the final offer from the STU administration. If a majority voted against the offer, it would result in a strike vote.

“The vote was not unanimous but it was a very strong majority,” said Jennifer Burry, president of the STUSAU.

Although the union is in a position to strike, Burry said they are still optimistic that further negotiating with STU admin is possible.

“Obviously I believe both sides don’t want to go to strike action and so we’ll wait to hear from the employer on whether or not they’re coming back to the table before we make any decision,” Burry said.

“We believe both parties do want to negotiate a collective agreement and that we are happy to do that and go back to the table with the employer.”

The STUSAU wants to negotiate the 12 articles that were left out of the final offer. These include layoffs, job security, leaves and severance.

They are still waiting to hear back from STU admin.

“We are expecting to hear back from them but we want them to have the time to make the decision and go over the different mandates from their team,” Burry said.

If the negotiations fall through, the union must give 24 hour’s notice should they decide to strike.

The STUSAU represents the support and administrative workers at STU. This includes members in the Registrar’s office, Student Services, Residence Life, IT services, Financial Services, Recruitment, Facilities Management, Communications, Alumni, Drama, Admissions, Campus Ministry, Athletics as well as Office Coordinators.

They have been negotiating their first contract since their certification in July 2010.

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