Carleton University staff start strike, tying up Bronson Avenue traffic

Carleton
(Stock image for illustrative purposes only.)

Roughly 800 administrative, technical and library staff are on strike at Carleton University Monday morning.

Negotiations between CUPE2424 and the university failed to yield a collective bargaining agreement before the March 5 strike deadline. The two sides have been in discussions for 19 days before strike action began, with Sunday’s most recent negotiations including a mediator from the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

At issue between the university and the union is language used in staff’s latest contract surrounding pension contributions. CUPE2424 alleges that alterations to the contract language will remove members’ protections from changes to pension provisions, while Carleton University says specific language should be removed to ensure all employees are making the same contributions.

According to CUPE2424’s website, length of the strike action is indefinite, lasting “for as long as it takes to obtain a fair and equitable collective agreement.”

Staff began picketing at Carleton at 6:00 a.m. Monday morning, slowing vehicles trying to enter campus and causing traffic backlogs on Bronson Avenue between Carling Avenue and Riverside Drive.

Carleton strike traffic
Google Traffic map showing delays at approximately 8 a.m.

While O-Train service is uninterrupted, OC Transpo buses will not cross the picket line and have been dropping passengers off at the Bronson and Sunnyside entrance. The transit agency says Para Transpo service will likely experience delays.

Elsewhere in the city, a group of tow truck drivers are expected to protest what they’re calling unfair practices from Ottawa Police Services, with regards to how police solicit towing services after accidents.

The latest update has drivers beginning protests at 8:30 a.m., moving from Orléans to City Hall via Highways 174 and 417.