No progress on faculty strike in Oshawa with students and allies invited to join the picket lines

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Published February 16, 2022 at 11:36 am

The good news on the Ontario Tech faculty strike front is the two sides talked for more than 12 hours Tuesday – after the university began the week saying they would only meet for three hours at a time – but the bad news is absolutely no headway was made, with the administration presenting its teachers with an offer little changed from the one rejected by 80 per cent of the membership more than a week ago.

The strike is now in its seventh day and the faculty association, which represents 281 full-time faculty locked out since last Thursday, is calling on students and other allies to join the picket lines today from 11-3 as a show of support for the faculty.

The faculty is also accusing the university of employing some questionable negotiating tactics during the impasse, such as using a public health tool – the COVID screening app – to lock faculty members out of the school, ordering security officials to not allow teachers onto campus and blocking faculty from using Canvas, the learning management system used to support all courses at the university.

Not having access to Canvas means faculty can’t communicate with students, but several faculty members say the university has abused the service even further by allowing students access to exams that were ‘hidden’ by the instructors, which will likely lead to a certain level of chaos – and exams that will have to be re-done – when the teachers return to class.

One solution that could end the dispute is binding arbitration, but Ontario Tech President Dr. Steven Murphy has not yet agreed to it.

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