On July 31, 2013, professors and academic librarians at the University of Ottawa authorized the Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) to call a strike if necessary. The strike mandate was approved by 82 per cent.
The strike mandate was requested by APUO after the administration of the University of Ottawa officially requested a “No Board” report be issued by the Ministry of Labour on Friday July 19 2013,. The employer’s unilateral decision has triggered a 17 day countdown until the employer is allowed to unilaterally rewrite the collective agreement, to impose a lockout, or for the union to go out on strike. The employer chose to do so even though the APUO has continuously and explicitly expressed their desire to continue negotiations. The request was also made despite the fact that on July 12, in the presence of the conciliator, the employer agreed to the APUO’s suggestion that the conciliation process be left open after the planned mediation scheduled for August 3rd and 4th.
The employer’s decision to unilaterally force an end to negotiations by calling for conciliation and a ‘No Board’ is without precedent at the University of Ottawa, and one with very significant consequences. Following the employer’s actions, and in order to avoid a unilateral rewriting of the collective agreement or a lockout as early as August 8, the APUO decided to seek a strike mandate at a Special General Assembly (SGA).
The APUO remains committed to a fair and equitable settlement for all of its members, and will not be pushed into a less-than-acceptable settlement that does not support the quality of education at the University, nor meets the legitimate and reasonable expectations of our members, and the larger community on campus. OCUFA Report will provide more information as it becomes available. The latest updates can also be found on the APUO website.