U of O support staff go on strike

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Some 1,300 support staff at the University of Ottawa are now on strike after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract with the university.

Talks between the two sides broke down late last week and the local bargaining unit of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) set a strike deadline for one minute past midnight on Monday.

According to the local unit, health benefits have been one of the main sticking points in the negotiations since early 2019.

Four-fifths of the membership rejected a tentative offer put forward in June, according to an online statement by Marcelle Desmornes, president of the bargaining unit.

The university said in a statement early Monday morning its latest offer included improvements in job security, benefits and the highest wage increases it can offer under provincial law.

The striking staff support both students and professors, according to the union.