Following strong strike mandate, Dalhousie postdoctoral fellows return to bargaining table on Friday

HALIFAX – The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s Local 86001 (or Association of Dalhousie University Research Employees [A-DURESS]), comprised of postdoctoral fellow employees at Dalhousie University will return to the bargaining table with the Dalhousie University administration this Friday, January 26, 2024. Dalhousie requested to resume bargaining after the local voted in favour of a strike mandate in December.

“We are looking forward to returning to the bargaining table. Better working conditions are never given – they are demanded – and the strong strike vote amongst our membership demonstrates our power and solidarity,” said Robyn Wright, PSAC local 86001 Co-President. “We are hopeful that with this clear mandate from postdocs, when the Dalhousie administration returns to the table this week, they will be ready to negotiate living wages into an agreement for workers who have dedicated years of their time and research to this community. We truly care about our research, but if the employer does not present a fair wage offer at the bargaining table, we will be forced to initiate job action.”

In the two years since their collective agreement expired, postdoctoral fellow employees have not been offered competitive wages that match other academic institutions in Canada. The current base salary for postdoctoral fellows employed by Dalhousie University is $38,500 a year, which amounts to only $18.51 per hour. While other Dalhousie employees saw annual cost of living adjustments of 8.2 per cent over three years plus additional market adjustments, the university administration proposed only a 2.5 per cent increase over four years for postdoctoral fellows while inflation during this period soared. Postdoctoral fellow employees are seeking economic adjustments and benefits equivalent to those negotiated with all other Dalhousie employees.

Since receiving the strike mandate, members of PSAC local 86001 have been ramping up mobilization in case of job action. “No one wants to go on strike, but our members have been preparing with strike training sessions. Dalhousie’s postdocs deserve to make living wages that keep them working here in the Atlantic,” said Chris Di Liberatore, Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Atlantic. “Obviously, we are hoping for a fair outcome with Dalhousie at the bargaining table this week, but our members deserve fair compensation and they have voted to strike if an agreement cannot be reached.”

For more information: 
Laura Haywood

Regional Political Communications Officer, PSAC Atlantic 902-877-2962