UOIT faculty hand negotiators a strong strike mandate

OSHAWA – Faculty at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) have voted 85 per cent in favour of a strike mandate to back their desire for a fair and equitable settlement. Voting took place between Sept. 12-14, 2011, and the results authorize the faculty association to call a strike if they are unable to reach an agreement with the university administration. All 143 tenured and tenure-track professors who are members of the Faculty Association at UOIT have been without a contract since June 30, 2010.

“Our members are frustrated at the university administration’s apparent unwillingness to reach a fair agreement,” said Hannah Scott, President of the UOIT Faculty Association. “We remain committed to negotiating a deal at the table, and this vote shows that our members are not willing to tolerate any more delays or unacceptable offers. Fifteen months is long enough.”

UOIT currently has the highest student-to-faculty ratio in Canada – an eye-popping 53-to-one – while its professors have the third-lowest average salary in Ontario. Faculty negotiators are currently seeking a deal that addresses this salary/workload imbalance in a fair and sustainable way.

“We’re talking about faculty who have dedicated themselves to their students and their institution,” said Scott. “But if these working conditions and salary problems are not addressed, it will force many excellent instructors to leave the university for a better deal somewhere else. This is a heartbreaking decision for any committed educator to make, and will greatly damage the quality of education offered at UOIT.”

The faculty association will be back at the table from Oct. 11-13, 2011, meeting with both the employer and the provincial conciliator. At this time, no further bargaining dates have been scheduled.

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