Table of Contents
1. Emerging from Bill 124: Salary Renegotiations
2. APUO Condemns uWaterloo Attack
1) Emerging from Bill 124: Salary Renegotiations
Bill 124 – Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019, was sweeping legislation enacted by the Ford government that undermined collective bargaining rights by imposing a wage cap on all public sector workers. In ruling upon a coordinated Charter challenge by some 40 public sector unions and labour organizations, on November 29, 2022, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared Bill 124 unconstitutional. The Ford government subsequently appealed this decision. The appeal was heard over three days in June 2023. The Court of Appeal decision is expected within the next six months.
The Bill’s restricting of public sector salary increases to a 1% increase per year for three years was a major constraint on the APUO’s bargaining powers during the negotiating of the 2021-2024 Collective Agreement. Ultimately, the APUO and the Central Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) specifying that if the Act were to be struck down, salaries would be reviewed and renegotiated for the period covered by the Collective Agreement.
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) reports that several other Ontario universities who had similar MOUs in place have already successfully renegotiated salary increases in the wake of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s ruling.1 These include: Queen’s University, Trent University, Wilfrid Laurier University, King’s University College, Toronto Metropolitan University, and the University of Waterloo.
The APUO has also sought to ‘reopen’ salary negotiations for the 2021-2024 Collective Agreement. Initially, the Central Administration refused to abide by the terms of the MOU. Upon the APUO’s filing of an association grievance focusing on this refusal to engage, the Central Administration agreed to meet with the union on the condition that said grievance be rescinded.
On June 23, the APUO met with representatives from the Central Administration to begin renegotiating salaries for the period covered by our current Collective Agreement.
The next meeting is scheduled for the week of July 10th. We will, of course, keep members updated on developments as these negotiations progress.
2) APUO Condemns uWaterloo Attack
The APUO joins Faculty Associations and human rights groups from across Canada in condemning the stabbing that took place on June 28 in a gender studies course offered by the Department of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. The attack sent the Professor who teaches the course, and two students, to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Local police have categorized the attack as a hate-motivated crime targeted at both this specific course because of its exploration of gender identity and expression, and the LGBTQ2SIA+ community broadly and at large. The uWaterloo attack occurred on the same day as a separate LGBTQ2SIA+ hate motivated assault and robbery took place in Ottawa’s west end.
The APUO recognizes that the uWaterloo attack, along with other recent events linked to homophobia and transphobia, is having a marked impact on some members’ sense of safety on campus. We encourage any member who has safety-related concerns to contact the union at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also be advised that the following additional resources are available to members:
- Trans Lifeline: a 24-hour peer support phone service run by trans and nonbinary people for trans, nonbinary, and questioning people: https://translifeline.org/hotline or (877)330-6366 (available in English and Spanish)
- Trans Outaouais: un organisme à but non-lucratif dont la mission est de soutenir les membres de la communauté de la diversité du genre de l’Outaouais. https://www.transoutaouais.com ou (343)202-5006 (disponible en français)
- Capital Pride’s List of Community Resources: Capital Pride offers a directory of LGBTQ2SIA+ oriented resources covering a wide range of services. https://capitalpride.ca/community-resources/