Delivered by E-mail to:
Glenna Raymond, Chair of the Board of Governors
Tim McTiernan, President
Deborah Saucier, Provost
March 14, 2016
Dear Ms. Raymond, Dr. McTiernan, and Dr. Saucier,
On behalf of the Trent University Faculty Association (TUFA), I would like to express my deep concerns regarding the apparent brinkmanship in the collective bargaining process between the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) administration and the UOIT Faculty Association. In a few days, UOIT could face its first faculty strike. There is not much time to avoid this outcome and it is essential that the UOIT administration take immediate steps to reach a fair and just settlement with the UOIT Faculty Association.
From my personal interactions with several faculty members at your institution, it is clear that UOIT faculty are committed to the future of the University. They deserve a collective agreement comparable to those at other universities across Ontario.
UOIT faculty members need to be treated with fairness, equity and respect. Their pay and benefits should be competitive in our sector.
Tenure is the cornerstone of academic freedom, and is an essential protection for faculty to discharge their responsibilities to teach, to research, and to serve the community. The collective agreement needs to enshrine a more collegial peer-review process; this is standard at most universities.
Faculty play a key role at UOIT. Inclusive decision-making is important for the success of the university. UOIT would benefit from fuller faculty participation in university governance because meaningful input from faculty makes the university better.
Faculty at UOIT are very concerned about their workload and the balancing of faculty responsibilities. The faculty need fair and equitable evaluations and to be treated with respect.
UOIT has the highest student-to-professor ratio in Ontario. At the same time, UOIT faculty are among the lowest paid with the worst benefits in the province. UOIT must move to comparable pay with other Ontario universities. To offer such poorly paid faculty a zero wage increase over three years – at a time when other universities are increasing faculty wages – is unconscionable.
Students deserve the best possible education. They deserve involved and engaged faculty who have a fair workload and decent pay.
I support the UOIT Faculty Association and demand that you negotiate a fair collective agreement that avoids a strike.
Geoff Navara, Ph.D.
cc: Gary Genosko, UOIT Faculty Association President
Mikael Eklund, UOIT Faculty Association Chief Negotiator
Christine McLaughlin, UOIT Faculty Association, Executive Director