FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Part-Time Professors at the University of Ottawa in Danger of Being Locked Out
The Bargaining Committee of the Association of Part-time Professors of the University of Ottawa went into conciliation over the course of two days, Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15, with the university’s administration. The Committee engaged in this round of bargaining in good faith and proposed a bargaining protocol intended to avoid a labour dispute and to continue negotiations. The university’s administration rejected this offer and asked the conciliator to issue a no-board notice.
“We made every effort to reach an agreement during our two days of conciliation. Unfortunately, the employer decided to put professors and students in limbo by threatening us with a major labour dispute,” reports Robert Johnson, chair of the bargaining committee and president of the APTPUO.
It should be noted that 17 days after the Minister of Labour’s report, our members will no longer benefit from the freeze on working conditions. In other words, by August 10th , none of the members of the Association’s main unit will be protected by the terms of the collective agreement. There is every indication that the employer is seriously considering a work stoppage (“lock out”) for our members.
There will certainly be many impacts for our members. The Bargaining Committee and the Political Action and Mobilization Committee will be putting in place several sets of actions to force the employer to return to the bargaining table and avoid any disruption of the academic year.
“We can already see that our membership is mobilized in this bargaining round. Over 630 members participated in the strike vote and already more than 400 members have contacted us to give their personal contact information in the event that the employer interrupts the university’s professional emails,” reports Luc Angers, a member of the Bargaining Committee and Vice President of the Association.
“No one at APTPUO wants a labour dispute. But if the employer decides to go down that road, they should know that we are ready“. continues Professor Angers
A possible work stoppage will also significantly affect students and will undoubtedly disrupt the start of the academic year. For many, the Fall 2022 term will mark the return to in-person classes for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
After two years of overcoming the challenges of distance learning in the midst of a global pandemic and demonstrating flexibility and resilience, it is a shame that the university’s administration is putting us all in this position.
The Bargaining Committee will continue its efforts to reach a fair and equitable agreement that will ensure the quality of education at the University of Ottawa and the institutional support that our members are entitled to receive.
Natasha Roy, Communication and Membership Service Officer
Telephone: 613-519-2787, 4374