Dear Teaching Faculty,
The employer continues to evade setting a concrete date for tabling the rest of our monetary proposals. We did not think it could get much worse than tabling zero across-the-board increases, but an unwillingness to put any monetary offer on the table at all is much worse. This has us feeling increasingly undervalued at the bargaining table.
We are meeting with the employer on October 11th, and will once again encourage them to engage in a conversation around our workload and compensation concerns. As noted in our last update, we have filed for conciliation. Since then, our conciliator has been appointed. We have a full day of conciliation scheduled on October 16. We were expecting to use this opportunity to settle outstanding issues, but since the employer has not yet agreed to table monetary proposals, it is unlikely negotiations will conclude on this date.
At the last Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund meeting, a number of initiatives to support UOIT Teaching Faculty, in the event we engage in job action, were approved. These motions included the approval of strike pay ($88/day), continuation of benefits, one million dollar financial support, and further support through “flying pickets,” where faculty members across the country would be flown in to support our picket lines, should we have to establish them. The support from our colleagues both provincially and federally has been swift and strong.
We will be holding a strike mandate vote in October. A strike mandate does not necessarily mean that we will strike. There are a number of job actions in which we can engage should we be in a legal strike position, such as a work-to-rule. A strike mandate is one of the only ways we can urge the employer to agree to a fair deal. This has certainly been the case at UOIT in the past, where a strike deadline has been a key ingredient in securing better language and compensation for our members.
Every member of the bargaining unit has the right to vote on this question. A polling station will be set up over multiple days, and those outside the voting area are entitled to vote via mail-in ballot. Should we receive a positive mandate, we will continue to consult with you on any actions moving forward. At this point, we need a strong mandate from you if we are going to secure the strongest possible agreement.
In advance of opening voting on this critical question, we will be holding a number of strike mandate information sessions to accommodate as many schedules as possible. The Chief Negotiating Officer and members of the bargaining team will be present to answer your questions and candidly speak to the state of bargaining. If you are unable to join, please connect with me in person or send me an email; myself as well as members of the bargaining team are happy to meet with you to discuss this important issue.
Please join us at the following information sessions:
Wednesday October 18th – 10am to 11am – UA 3130
Wednesday October 18th – 12pm to 1pm – DTB 424
Thursday October 19th – 1pm to 2pm – UA 1220
UOITFA Chief Negotiating Officer
Read previous updates here.