Standoff between University of Ottawa and part-time profs continues

·2 min read
Part-time professors and the University of Ottawa have still not settled its impasse, hiring a mediator to try and come to an agreement over a renewed collective agreement. (Darren Major/CBC - image credit)
Part-time professors and the University of Ottawa have still not settled its impasse, hiring a mediator to try and come to an agreement over a renewed collective agreement. (Darren Major/CBC - image credit)

With the start of a new school year approaching, the standoff between the University of Ottawa and its part-time professors is still not settled.

Both parties maintain the power to declare a strike, but a meeting with a mediator is scheduled for the end of the month as they try to find a way out of the impasse.

Since Wednesday, the approximately 2,500 members of the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) are no longer protected by the provisions of the collective agreement, which technically gives the University the right to lock out the professors.

Talks for the renewal of the collective agreement for part-time professors at the University are ongoing since May, but no agreement has been reached. APTPUO members voted in favour of a strike mandate in June.

A mediator was appointed to resolve the impasse, with the first meeting scheduled for Aug. 28.

Our members want change. They want a much more cordial attitude,. - Luc Angers, Vice-president of APTPUO

The University of Ottawa said in a written statement to Radio-Canada the two parties have agreed to continue with mediation.

In the statement, management explains that while the University wishes to negotiate an agreement recognizing the important role of its part-time professors within the university community, it is required to respect the limit on total annual compensation increases imposed on universities and other sectors of the public service decreed by the Government of Ontario as part of the Bill 124.

Not a question of salary

The management of the University of Ottawa declined a request for an interview on Thursday.

"It is not on salary conditions [that the disagreements] are the most important. As you know, we have a one per cent cap in Ontario. It is rather on the working conditions," said Luc Angers, vice-president of the APTPUO, Thursday in a French-language interview, on the program Les matins d'ici .

In particular, the APTPUO is at odds with the University over receiving compensation for unpaid tasks.

"Our members want change. They want a much more cordial attitude, a much more open attitude to ensure that we are considered part of the great faculty family," said Angers

Alexander Behne/Radio-Canada
Alexander Behne/Radio-Canada

In writing, the employer party indicates that: "the university [...] has no intention of modifying the working conditions of the members of the APTPUO immediately."

Part-time professors teach more than 60 per cent of students on campus, especially at the undergraduate level, according to APTPUO.