Ontario Tech administration under fire for not taking faculty strike at Oshawa school seriously

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Published February 15, 2022 at 10:15 am

The Ontario Tech University bargaining team continues to take the brunt of public criticism on the lack of progress on ending the strike of faculty members, now in its fifth day.

A tweet from the university yesterday declared that meetings between the two sides are “ongoing” and “critical to strike resolution” but school president Dr. Steven Murphy and his bargaining team are taking heat for not meeting Sunday, for only scheduling talks for three hours and for refusing to accept binding arbitration.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (FA) – which represents 281 full-time teachers at Ontario Tech – is accusing the school of not taking negotiations seriously. If they had, the FA declared, “we could have been back in class today.”

The university does not appear to have the same sense of urgency.

“Success―for everyone―requires careful drafting, consideration and feedback between parties,” Ontario Tech tweeted. “The university is diligently working with the FA towards reaching a fair deal.”

The FA, however, says students are angry, “and so are we.”

“We have continually asked Ontario Tech to get back to the table or even commit to binding arbitration NOW!” the FA tweeted. “Three hours of bargaining a day just isn’t enough; we have to be meeting whenever and for as long as it takes, to get a fair deal.”

Dr. Andrea Slane, a professor in the Legal Studies program, agrees. “Shameful offer to bargain only three hours a day for the next three days by the administration. Ontario Tech – (are) you too busy to take bargaining with the FA seriously? What else could be more important than getting us back into the classrooms?”

Slane, a former faculty representative on the Board of Governors and a leading researcher at the university, also wrote a letter to the school outlining how Ontario Tech is “undermining” the faculty with their negotiation tactics.

“They have quite frankly broken our trust. I have lost faith in their leadership (and) it will take bold steps to win it back,” she said.

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