UPDATE: Members of the faculty association (UOITFA) have voted 96 per cent in favour of a three-year collective agreement with the university.
According to the UOITFA, the agreement includes across the board salary increases for each year of the agreement, an increase in benefits and improvements to the ranks processes, but specifics have not been released.
Faculty members vote Monday and Tuesday on a tentative agreement reached between the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and the faculty association (UOITFA).
The tentative deal was reached Thursday, March 17, a few days prior to a March 21 strike deadline.
During voting, classes continue as normal for UOIT’s more than 10,000 students.
The agreement needs to be approved by the more than 170 tenured and tenure-track members of the association and UOIT administration. Details of the deal will not be available until it has been ratified.
According to UOITFA president, Gary Genosko, a ratification vote is set to take place on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
“Both parties have negotiated for several months and we are hopeful that this agreement will be ratified soon,” says John MacMillan, UOIT communications and marketing director. “We are pleased that we were able to come to this tentative agreement with our faculty members.”
A strike not only would have impacted more than 10,000 students at UOIT who are nearing their exam period, but thousands more on the campus it shares with Durham College.
This would have been UOIT’s first-ever faculty strike, which left many students concerned about what would happen to them in the case of a strike.
“I haven’t really experienced being on a strike and don’t know how it would result in…would I get an incompletion or completion for my courses?” says UOIT student Gian Basilio. Adding, “I just want to finish my semester.”
Others weren’t even aware of the negotiations or the potential strike until recently, but are relieved a tentative agreement has been made.
“I didn’t know [about the negotiations], but now that I’m hearing about it, it’s good that they came to an agreement because we were going to get affected because of our education and everything,” says UOIT student Sajeeva Seran.
According to the UOITFA, among the issues concerning faculty members are earning wages comparable to professors at other Canadian universities, the promotion and tenure process and class sizes.