Collective bargaining began on January 31, when both parties tabled their normative proposals. They will present their financial proposals at the April 4 meeting. Similarly to the 2015-2016 round of negotiations, the meetings are conducted respectfully. Each party submits written proposals, explains them, and has the opportunity to justify the relevance of proposed additions, withdrawals or amendments. However, as the weeks have progressed, and as demonstrated in the table below (data as of March 9), negotiations appear to have stalled:
|Number of proposals
|Number and proportion of proposals that have received a response
|Number and proportion of negative counter-proposals
|Number and proportion of counter-proposals demonstrating a willingness to identify an acceptable solution for both parties
|26 of the 27 proposals tabled by the APUO (96%)
|1 of the 27 proposals tabled by the APUO (4%)
|9 of the 17 proposals tabled by the Administration (53%)
|8 of the 17 proposals tabled by the Administration (47%)
So far, as you can see, the Administration’s team has not been negotiating in a spirit of exchange and compromise. They have rejected all but one of the APUO proposals to which they have replied. The tabled changes to the language of Article 17, which aim to replace all references of under-representation of women and men to “equity groups,” is the only APUO proposal being considered by the Administration.
Additionally, the Administration refuses to renew the APUO complement (minimum employment level). In practical terms, if it is not renewed, this will allow the Administration to abolish the positions of full-time faculty and librarians who leave the University, be it for retirement or any other reason. This will not only result in an increased workload for APUO members (who are already overburdened) but also in a considerable impoverishment of teaching and research at the University of Ottawa.
Many of us hoped that Jacques Frémont’s arrival as President would have a positive impact on the Administration’s approach at the bargaining table. Regrettably, we note that this is not the case at all. Given this situation, rest assured that the APUO team is calm, methodical and working tirelessly to get the Administration to negotiate. Nevertheless, your support and commitment are essential to the signing of a fair, equitable and accountable agreement for the future of the quality of teaching and research (as a whole) at our University. We will continue to keep you informed of both positive and negative developments at the bargaining table. We also remain available to meet with your academic unit upon your request, in a spirit of accountability, transparency, and collegiality. To do so, please contact our President Susan Spronk at email@example.com.