Locals 18 and 267M: What to do if there is a strike at your workplace – Q&A

Cape Breton University Faculty Association (CBUFA) members work at Cape Breton University as teachers, researchers, librarians, lab instructors, and other academic positions. Talks broke down between members of CBUFA and Cape Breton University on January 23rd. They are counting down to a strike.

The NSGEU stands strongly behind members of CBUFA as they fight for fair wages and working conditions at CBU. We encourage the employer to return to the table with an offer that recognizes the important work they do, the vital roll they play at the University, and the increased cost of living at this time. Please consider supporting the members of CBUFA. Their fight is our fight.

The following are some questions and answers NSGEU members may have if CBUFA goes on strike or are locked out:

What do I do if CBUFA members go on strike?

NSGEU members are not on legal strike therefore members are required to go to work. You cannot be required to do the work of employees who are on a legal strike. If you are asked to do the work of striking employees, contact the NSGEU at 902-424-4063/ toll-free 1-877-556-7438 or by email at inquiry@nsgeu.ca.

Do I have to cross the picket line?

You are required to do your work, so you may have to cross a picket line if there is one at your campus. CBUFA will likely advise their members that NSGEU members will be coming to work and we don’t anticipate any problems on the picket lines.

How can I show support to CBUFA members who are on strike?

NSGEU members are encouraged to be supportive of CBUFA members who are on strike. You can do this by walking with them on the picket lines on your own time such as lunch or before/after work. You can bring them coffee/refreshments. You can also beep your car horn and wave to show encouragement. Picketers greatly appreciate these signs of support from others.

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.

If you believe the picket line is a legitimate threat to your physical well-being, you should leave the area and call your manager. Advise them of the situation and ask for instructions. You are also encouraged to advise the NSGEU so we can inform our contacts at CBUFA of the situation. If your manager insists you cross the picket line and you still feel there is a legitimate threat to your physical well-being, contact the NSGEU at 902-424-4063/toll-free 1-877-556-7438 for further information/instruction. If your safety is being jeopardized, you have the right to refuse unsafe work under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. We can help you work through this process should you need to.  

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