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Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa/APTPUO
The U of O and the APTPUO will meet again on Sep. 22. Image: APTPUO/Provided.
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Could the APTPUO move forward with labour actions?

The University of Ottawa (U of O) and the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) have undergone multiple rounds of bargaining to create a new agreement since May, 2022.

The two parties have yet to come to an agreement regarding the requests from the APTPUO. During the beginning stages of bargaining, APTPUO had planned labour action to strike due to the U of O’s lack of acknowledgement of the very real issues which APTPUO brought forth in their Bargaining Committee Report.

The decision was made to reconvene with a mediator present to help reach an agreement that would satisfy both parties. This meeting took place on Aug. 28.

U of O released a statement to the University community on Aug. 30, explaining that while progress was made, they will be meeting again on Sept. 22, which is now the extended deadline for any labour action.

“The University remains optimistic that outstanding issues can be resolved, and a labour action will be avoided,” read the email to the U of O community.

While the U of O remains optimistic, the APTPUO has made it clear on public records that they do not feel the University has taken their concerns and agreement proposals seriously. According to APTPUO, they believe that U of O will only take their proposals seriously if there is a threat of labour action, such as a strike. 

APTPUO have outlined their priorities for bargaining on their webpage. The main priorities include wages and benefits, workload and unpaid overtime, job security, and improvements to the hiring process. 

In solidarity with APTPUO, a representative of the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) said, “APTPUO members’ working conditions became increasingly difficult over the course of the pandemic. The employer’s refusal to bargain in good faith only reinforces these unfair conditions … The APUO stands in solidarity with the APTPUO as they negotiate for better working conditions for their members.”

While the Association has made it clear that they have the funds to support part-time professors in the case of a strike, much less has been said about the impact this will have on U of O students.

For the first time since before the pandemic, the U of O is almost entirely in-person for this academic school year. So, what are the plans for the students in the approximately 60% of undergraduate classes taught by part-time professors?

The Fulcrum will continue to provide updates on any developments regarding the bargaining between the U of O and APTPUO.

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