OSHAWA, October 22, 2021—Members of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (UOITFA), which represents full-time faculty at Ontario Tech University, have voted 90% in favour of striking if the university administration refuses to agree to a fair deal. The vote comes after six months of bargaining, during which the UOITFA has been urging the Ontario Tech administration to take action on issues related to faculty burnout including workload, mental health, pay equity, and pension issues. The collective agreement between the UOITFA and Ontario Tech University expired at the end of June 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified many challenges that faculty and students face at Ontario Tech. In its wake, it’s vital that we improve working conditions for faculty and learning conditions for students,” said Mike Eklund, President of the UOITFA. “We don’t want to strike, but if that’s what it takes to get the university to take action on these important issues, we are ready.”
The strike vote follows a Welcome Back to Bargaining campaign that the UOITFA ran in September. The campaign saw active engagement from UOITFA’s members as they participated in a Social Media Day of Action and shared messages highlighting their concerns about high workload, a lack of mental health supports, gender pay inequity, and an inadequate pension plan. The UOITFA has also received countless messages of solidarity from faculty associations, academic unions, and other labour groups across the country.
“We have been working hard to negotiate a fair collective agreement that makes Ontario Tech University a more equitable and supportive place to work and study,” said Eklund. “We will continue to advance these important issues on behalf of our members and the students who come to Ontario Tech for a high-quality education.”
The UOITFA remains committed to reaching a fair deal at the table and is hopeful that the university administration will make an offer that addresses their concerns and avoids a strike.
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association represents 282 full-time faculty at Ontario Tech University. For more information and updates, follow the UOITFA on Twitter @uoitfa or visit the UOITFA website at www.uoitfa.ca.
For more information, contact:
Mikael Eklund, University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association President
905-447-9390, [email protected]