For the first time in 15 years, teaching assistants have declared a strike at U of T.

The university will remain open and will not bar union members from returning to work, according to an online memo by Angela Hildyard, U of T VP HR & equity, and Cheryl Regehr, vice-president and provost.

To take effect immediately, the decision to strike was made after Unit 1 members struck down the tentative agreement reached with U of T earlier today.

Members convened at Convocation Hall at St. George on Friday afternoon to vote on whether to ratify the agreement. The majority of attendees voted against the motion, putting TAs and other employees in Unit 1 in legal strike position.

In an email to members following the meeting, Unit 1 vice-chair Ryan Culpepper said that approximately 90% of the 1,000 members present at the meeting had voted against the agreement.

Members are expected to begin strike duties as of Monday.

The Toronto Star reported that the last time TAs at U of T went on strike was in 2000.

Full coverage is forthcoming.