The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario stands with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (UOITFA) as they bargain for better working conditions. UOITFA, which represents full time faculty at University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), is in ongoing negotiations with the university’s administration. Their collective agreement expired in June, and the UOITFA has been bargaining with the university for six months. Among the important issues UOITFA is advocating for are better workload provisions, job security, and pension/benefits. Many of the demands can be met at no significant cost to the university— despite this, the administration refuses to agree to a fair deal. With no other choice, the UOITFA held a strike mandate vote with 90% of membership voting in favour of a strike if a fair deal cannot be reached. The Federation supports this development, and commends the faculty association for their continued efforts in securing just and equitable working conditions for all.
UOIT has some of the worst post-secondary faculty workload provisions in the country. Faculty are facing burnout from the unreasonable workload, high student-to-instructor ratio, and lack of resources and support from administration. The Ontario Tech administration is even seeking to eliminate rights and protections that are present in the expired collective agreement. The Federation adamantly stands against this exploitation, and maintains that all faculty ought to have fair working conditions that allow them to fulfill their research and teaching responsibilities and aspirations without sacrificing their physical or mental health.
In accordance with the Federation’s mandate for free, public, accessible, and high quality education for all, the Federation condemns the Ontario Tech administration for jeopardizing its quality of education by not responding fairly and in good faith to the bargaining proposal. The strain on faculty members significantly reduces the quality of education at UOIT— faculty have less time to engage with students, innovate their curriculum, or develop their research. As such, students are left with fewer opportunities, and fewer resources. Support for UOITFA is support for students.
Students and faculty should be the administration’s first priority. The administration must take the UOITFA reasoned proposals seriously, both to ensure that the quality of education at UOIT improves and to avoid a strike. In the absence of a fair deal, students will continue to stand with the UOITFA.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the oldest and largest student organization in Ontario, representing over 350,000 college and university students in every region of the province.