Unionized support workers at Burnaby's Simon Fraser University campus could be heading to the picket lines soon.
The support workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3338, are set to hold a strike vote from Sept. 25 to 27.
"Our first motivation is to have the employer get back to the table for some serious bargaining," said John Bannister, a business agent for the local.
The support workers include secretarial staff, clerical workers, library workers, lab technicians and IT staff.
According to the union, the past two years of talks with the university over a new contract have been "fruitless," and the main issues are job security, inflation protection and wages. CUPE is seeking a 2.5-to three-per-cent increase to cover inflations as well as a wage increase.
If the members vote in favour of a strike, the union can serve 72-hour strike notice, and legal job action could include a campus-wide strike.
"Last time we were actually out and had a picket line," Bannister said, "a lot of the services ceased to operate. They didn't close the university, but a lot of services were disrupted. Hopefully it doesn't come to that."
According to the union, SFU has said there is money in the budget, but the university won't say how much.
SFU's director of labour and employee relations was not available for immediate comment.
Between SFU's three campuses, the union represents 1,200 support workers.