Ontario Tech faculty in Oshawa set to strike tomorrow; university yet to respond

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Published February 9, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Nearly 24 hours after full-time faculty at Ontario Tech University announced they will go on strike tomorrow, the university has still not made any public response.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (UOITFA), which represents 281 faculty at the school, announced yesterday they would begin job action tomorrow after the university held firm on their final offer, a deal that was rejected by 80 per cent of the faculty association membership last week.

“We are extremely disappointed that we were unable to reach a deal,” the association said on Twitter. “We did everything we possibly could to avoid a strike.”

The faculty association said yesterday morning that they were “committed” to remaining at the table with the university’s bargaining team to “reach a fair deal.”

“We hope the university is willing to make the same commitment to work with us to avoid a strike.”

The tone changed by Tuesday evening, however, when UOITFA said the university “held firm” with the offer from last week that had already been rejected.

The major sticking points for faculty are an “unsustainable workload” and a lack of teaching and research support.

“The members have made it clear through their rejection of the university’s offer that faculty at Ontario Tech cannot accept a deal that weakens our ability to carry out the university’s educational and research mandates,” the faculty said in a statement. “These unresolved issues negatively affect faculty working conditions and student learning conditions.”

The university, for its part, said they were “stunned” when the faculty association suspended negotiations last week before an agreement could be reached and said the narrative surrounding some of the issues – such as workload – were “deliberately one-sided.”

The faculty association said they offered to submit all outstanding issues to binding arbitration, but the university refused.

“It became clear as the day progressed that the university was unfortunately more interested in moving to discussions on strike preparations,” the association said, adding that Ontario Tech’s bargaining team “indicated that they were not available for bargaining.”

Ontario Tech has yet to respond to the faculty’s announcement or to inform students what they might expect if the teachers do go on strike.

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