The university is preparing for the possibility of a GTFF strike. Though the GTFF has
declared impasse, the union must still hold a strike vote and there is still the possibility that
the parties will resolve their differences and reach a tentative agreement to avert a strike.
Nevertheless, it is imperative that there are processes in place to ensure minimal disruption
to our students.
The University recently formed an Academic Continuity Team (“ACT”), which is working
to identify needs during periods of interruption and formulating coping strategies to ensure
continued delivery of classes and other services to students. Though the creation of the
team has been motivated by the potential of a strike, the processes created are applicable to
various types of events that have the potential to interrupt classes and services. These
events include natural disasters, weather emergencies, pandemics, and civil unrest. ACT is
comprised of representatives from Academic Affairs, Office of the Registrar, Human
Resources, Enterprise Risk Services, the Academic Leadership Team, General Counsel’s
Office, Graduate School, Media Relations, and Office of the Vice President for Research
Engagement with Graduate Students
It is important to recognize that all of our graduate students, including Graduate Teaching
Fellows and Graduate Research Fellows (hereafter “GTFs”), are students first. We will
continue to support and educate our graduate students during a strike. GTFs will be
expected to fulfill their obligations as students.
During a strike, those in the GTFF bargaining unit have a right to decide whether to strike
or continue to work. Administrators and supervisors of GTFs must not attempt to
influence GTFs as to their decision to honor the strike. There can also be no retaliation
against GTFs if they choose to strike.
Additional information will be forthcoming as to how the university will be tracking which
GTFs are present and working and which have decided to strike. We will have a one-cross
policy. If a GTF crosses the picket line and begins working during the strike, and then
subsequently strikes, they will not be permitted to return to work for the duration of the
We are aware that there are some complications related to individuals who do the same
work as a graduate student and as a GTF. GTFs on strike will be permitted to continue
working on projects in their capacity as graduate students.
Further guidance on engaging GTFs will be available on the Graduate School website at
Engagement of Faculty
As the university prepares for a possible GTFF strike, a chief concern amongst
departments and units is how to deploy faculty during the strike period. It is unknown at
this time how long a strike would last, if it occurs, or what percentage of graduate teaching