Professors, librarians and lab instructors at University of Northern B.C. voted 84.8 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.
The UNBC Faculty Association said it has been been bargaining with the university for a new collective agreement for more than eight months, since it first became a union in April.
"With this clear mandate, the faculty association is now in a position to commence job action at any time," said association president Jacqueline Holler in a release.
The voting took place Jan. 15 at Prince George and Terrace campuses, with mail-in ballots welcomed too. The union represents 343 full- and part-time faculty members.
"However, we remain committed to the bargaining process and will continue to strive for a collective agreement that is fair for our members and sustainable for UNBC," Holler said. "We sincerely hope that UNBC's administration averts a strike by addressing our concerns through collective bargaining."
Previously, association vice-president Erik Jensen said the key issues for the group are improving post-retirement benefits, salary structure and program redundancy – a situation where the university could potentially lay off faculty for non-financial reasons.
The union will have a 90-day window to implement some form of strike action, he said.
The association called it a "historic strike vote," because it is the first at a research university in British Columbia.