Today, the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition sent the following letter expressing our solidarity with the support staff at the University of Ottawa. These workers, who are members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, went on strike today as they continue their efforts to resist cuts being demanded by the university administration.
President and Vice-Chancellor
University of Ottawa
550 Cumberland, Room 212
Ottawa ON K1N 6N5
October 19, 2020
Dear Jacques Frémont,
First and foremost, we hope that you and your family are doing well during these difficult times.
We write as representatives of the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC)—which represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary institution in Ontario.
We are writing to express our support for PSUO-SSOU, the certified Bargaining Unit for 1,300 administrative and support staff at the University of Ottawa. We are deeply concerned that your administration is trying to strip the health benefits of these workers during the pandemic as they work tirelessly to keep the university running during these unprecedented times.
Administrative and support staff are frontline workers who have been essential in keeping our institutions running during this pandemic. This is not the time to be stripping them of their benefits and supports.
We strongly urge your administration to respect workers’ rights, especially during the pandemic, and to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal with PSUO-SSOU. It is the right thing to do.
The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition
- RM Kennedy, Chair – Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU)–College Faculty Divisional Executive
- Rahul Sapra, President – Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA)
- David Simao, Chair – Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)–Ontario University Sector
- Harvey Bischof, President – Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
- Alex Silas, Regional Executive Vice-President – Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC National Capital Region)
- Kella Loschiavo, Chair Universities Sector 9 OPSEU
- Sébastien Lalonde, Chairperson – Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O)
- Kayla Weiler, National Executive Representative – Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario (CFS-O)
Cc: Marcelle Desmornes, President of PSUO.