UOIT strike decision coming next week

Students should know by next Thursday whether UOIT tenured and tenure-track faculty (TTTF) will strike on Monday, March 21, according to UOIT Faculty Association (UOITFA) president, Gary Genosko.

UOIT administration and the UOITFA are scheduled to meet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. According to Genosko, a provincially-appointed mediator will be present on the final two days of negotiations.

If UOIT and the UOITFA reach an agreement at these meetings, the UOITFA will bring the proposed collective agreement to the faculty for a ratification vote to approve or reject the deal.

Genosko says the UOITFA is prepared to strike if necessary.

“Either we will be accepting from our national association, Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), a cheque for $1 million to support the strike, and calling in the support offered by our brothers and sisters in Durham-based unions, or we will be calling in our members for a ratification vote,” says Genosko.

Genosko adds that many students have spoken with him over the past week and expressed their frustration with
the UOIT’s lack of preparedness and communication about the situation.

The university has not released whether they have a contingency plan in the case of a strike.

“The parties are following the bargaining process that is used in Ontario, and are focused on concluding a new collective agreement as soon as possible,” says Melissa Levy, manager of communications at UOIT. “The terms of the agreement are still being negotiated by both parties. The university will communicate with the campus community if needed.”UOITstrike - edit

At the end of February, the UOITFA held a strike mandate vote with a result of 77.17 per cent of faculty showing their support if the union feels a strike is necessary.

According to Genosko, among the issues concerning the UOITFA are the university’s initial proposal of a zero-zero-zero wage increase over the next three years and budget concerns.

The UOITFA represents both the more than 170 TTTF and 55 teaching faculty, which have separate collective agreements. The 55 teaching faculty will not be involved or affected by the potential strike.

For more detailed information on the issues, visit the original story here.

We will be providing updates through our Twitter @DCUOITChronicle and on our website chronicle.durhamcollege.ca as soon as updates become available.

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Alyssa Bugg is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. When it comes to writing and reporting, she enjoys covering events and connecting with her audience by writing about topics she feels matter to them. She likes to spend her spare time on both her personal and The Chronicle's Twitter accounts (for hours - it's a problem), researching and reading about audience engagement and spending some down time with her bunny, Mac. Alyssa hopes to work in a communications role or news organization in a digital capacity following graduation.