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Support staff at the University of Ottawa have given their bargaining unit a strike mandate, with 79 per cent in favour.

“We were very happy with the results,” said Support Staff University of Ottawa (SSUO) president Richard Hogan. “We cannot give the percentage of our membership that came, but we were overwhelmingly pleased with the participation of our membership in that process.”

The SSUO has been in negotiations with the university since June 2012 in an attempt to reach a collective agreement, which was expected at the end of August when the union met with the U of O through a conciliator Aug. 26–27.

The union held a strike vote Sept. 16–18 to put itself in a better bargaining position. The university invited the union’s bargaining team to return to negotiations prior to the vote.

Hogan said the process is ongoing and that he cannot comment further at this time. The university was unavailable for comment.

SSUO represents office and clerical workers, technicians, custodians, student services personnel, and more.

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