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Fighting for Equity

From the comments heard throughout the 2019 Listening Tour on Workload and member responses to our December 2020 Bargaining Survey, it is abundantly clear APUO members want us to continue moving forward with our efforts to improve the representation of all equity-seeking groups on campus. Building on the achievements of the 2018 round of collective bargaining, the APUO is committed to establishing more equitable, diverse, and inclusive working conditions for all. 

Letter of Understanding for Childcare

A lack of access to quality childcare disproportionately impacts some APUO members, limiting their ability to fully work and participate in academic life. Making high quality childcare accessible for members is a necessary response to the changing demographics at the University and would enable members with young children to more fully engage as members in their respective academic and non-academic communities.

To remedy this inequity, the APUO has tabled a Letter of Understanding, that would see the creation of 100 new subsidized childcare spaces on or near campus, 60 of which would be reserved for APUO members.

You can view the proposal in full here.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee

The joint Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee (EDIC) has undertaken important work highlighting some of the challenges faced by members of equity-seeking groups and proposed a series of recommendations to redress these issues.

Building on the work of the EDIC, the APUO tabled an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee proposal that aims to expand the scope of the EDIC’s mandate. This change would allow the Committee to report on “all forms of systemic discrimination” among APUO members, rather than limit its work to matters of employment equity.

You can view the proposal in full here.


The exclusion of Indigenous knowledge from academia has contributed to the continued exclusion of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada from fully participating in academic life, including here at our own university. The APUO is seizing upon this round of collective bargaining to table proposals aimed at creating more space for the participation of Indigenous scholars and their communities in academic activities at the University of Ottawa.

The APUO is tabling proposals that would change the language of Collective Agreement to:

  • permit the temporary appointment of two additional members to Faculty Teaching Personnel Committees and to the Librarian Personnel Committee for the purposes of formal review, upon the request of members who “conduct community-based research with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities.”
  • observe and accommodate religious holidays and National Indigenous Peoples’ Day (June 21)
  • change all references to the word “Aboriginal,” to “Indigenous Peoples in Canada”

  • You can view the proposal in full here.


    Growing workloads and the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on members’ wellbeing. In their response to the December bargaining survey, members highlighted inequities associated with the allocation of leaves as a matter that needed addressing. With this in mind, the APUO is tabling a series of proposals regarding leave provisions that aim to promote health, wellness, and equity.

    As per the Ontario Employment Standards Act, members have a right to take unpaid, job-protected Family Medical Leave or a Critical Illness Leave. The lack of pay associated with these leaves limits members’ ability to use them if necessary and creates inequities. That is why the APUO is tabling proposals to introduce into the Collective Agreement, Family Medical Leave and Critical Illness Leave with a 95% salary top-up.

    To ensure better equity for members growing their family, the APUO is tabling language that would extend the salary top-up for parental leave to a full year rather than the current 9 months (the total amount adjusted and spread evenly for members taking 18-month leaves).

    During its Listening Tour on Workload, the APUO was made aware that certain Deans were asking members returning mid-term from a leave (pregnancy, parental, or sick leave) to make up teaching credits for that term. This is in direct breach of the Collective Agreement and of the Ontario Human Rights Code. It also contravenes a ‘cease and desist’ order rendered in a 2016 arbitration decision by Arbitrator Keller in relation to a dispute between the APUO and the Central Administration specifically about this practice. The APUO is therefore tabling a proposal that would strengthen the language protecting members against this practice in the Collective Agreement.

    To promote health and wellness, the APUO is proposing that the number of vacation days available to members per year increase from 22 to 27.

    You can view the proposal in full here.

    Special Fund

    The APUO is tabling a proposal that, if adopted, would see the creation of a new Special Fund available to all members, but with the mandate to prioritize the support of career development for members of equity-seeking groups or with considerable family status obligations. Among other things, the fund would provide funding to support laboratory and graduate supervision and/or to support ongoing research initiatives for members taking any of the above-mentioned leaves.

    You can view the proposal in full here.

    Letter of Appointment

    It has come to the APUO’s attention that provisions in some letters of appointment occasionally differed between members. This can lead to important salary inequities that have long-term financial impacts. The APUO receives a copy of all letters of appointment signed by our members. As such, we are in a position to provide advice and guide our members into accepting the most beneficial letter of appointment. This is why the APUO is tabling a proposal that would allow potential new members to schedule a meeting with APUO to review letters of appointment and provide guidance to ensure they are signing onto the best possible offer.

    You can view the proposal in full here.


    The APUO is tabling a series of proposals that seek to further support and advance equity initiatives in the Library. These include proposals for:

    1. Equity training akin to that which is in place for Faculty Teaching Personnel Committees (FTPC), be created for members of the Librarian Personnel Committee (LPC) in order to promote more equitable hiring practices.
    2. A proposal to recognize all initiatives aimed at advancing equity in the Library, the University, or the librarian profession as part of librarians’ workload.
    3. ensuring that new librarian job postings be posted internally before being posted externally.

    You can view the proposal in full here.

    Permanent Residency

    Members who require a work permit are responsible for ensuring that they obtain and maintain a valid work permit for the duration of their appointment. This procedure, as well as the process to apply for a permanent residency, can be very time-consuming. This is why the APUO is tabling a proposal that would ensure the Central Administration provides the necessary support to members requiring a work permit as well as those seeking to obtain and/or maintain permanent residency status.

    You can view the proposal in full here.

    Student Evaluation Data

    It is widely recognized that the use of Student Evaluation data for career recommendations and decisions leads to inequities and hinders our capacity to have a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive membership. As such, the APUO is rescinding its support for the Letter of Understanding currently in effect, which permits their use in career recommendations and decisions.

    You can view the proposal in full here.