Dear NSGEU Local 82 members,
As of today, March 1, 2019, NSCAD faculty members are on strike.
We stand with NSCAD faculty members as they try to achieve a fair collective agreement.
We have developed a Q & A about what to do when there is a strike at your workplace:
It is important to understand that the NSGEU is supportive of our brothers and sisters, co-workers, and friends who belong to other labour unions. Along with many of the unions in Nova Scotia, we often work together in coalitions and committees.
Do I have to go to work if NSCAD faculty members go on strike?
Yes. NSGEU members are not on legal strike therefore members are required to go to work unless otherwise directed by the employer.
How can I show my support?
Where there are picket lines, we suggest that you “walk the line before you cross the line”. NSGEU members are encouraged to support co-workers who are on strike. You can be supportive by picketing with them on your own time (such as breaks, lunch or before/after work). You can bring them coffee and/or refreshments. You can also beep your car horn and wave to show encouragement. Picketers greatly appreciate these signs of support.
What do I do if I’m asked to do the work of a NSCAD faculty member?
During a legal strike you are normally not allowed to do the work of the striking employees. We are asking members not to do the work of faculty members but if the Employer insists, you should do the work to avoid discipline and report it to us as soon as possible at: (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-556-7438).
Note: if you feel that the safety of the student or yourself is at risk, you may exercise your right to refuse unsafe work under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. You can find more information about how to exercise your right to refuse unsafe work here (https://novascotia.ca/lae/healthandsafety/employeeright.asp) or you can call the NSGEU.
Do I have to cross the picket line?
You are required to do your work, so you will have to cross a picket line if there is one at your workplace. We suggest you introduce yourself to a picket captain before proceeding to work and if you have time it is always good to “walk the line, before you cross the line.” This shows your respect and support for your co-workers.
What if I am uncomfortable or I believe there is a threat if I cross the picket line?
If you feel uncomfortable, ask to speak to the picket captain and explain who you are and that you need to go into your workplace. You can also call your manager or a person who may be assigned to assist employees in crossing the picket line.
If you believe the picket line is a legitimate threat to your physical well-being, you should leave the area and call your manager or the person assigned by your employer. Advise them of the situation and ask for instructions. You are also encouraged to advise the NSGEU so we can inform the striking union of the situation.
If your employer insists you cross the picket line and you still feel there is a legitimate threat to your physical well-being, contact the NSGEU for further information. If your safety is being jeopardized, you have the right to refuse under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
What if I have a question that is not on this list, or I need further information?
You can call the NSGEU if you need assistance between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri.