Bill 47

Dear Members,

On October 23, the Doug Ford government introduced sweeping changes to the Employment Standards Act through Bill 47. The changes being introduced are a cause for great concern. They will inevitably impact upon our working conditions and those of our colleagues.

The change most directly affecting our University Community is the repeal of equal pay for equal work for casual, part-time, and temporary worker employee classifications. The abolition of these provisions from the Employment Standards Act gives the Central Administration a green light to continue its upward trend of hiring precarious workers, reducing our ability to protect our minimum complement in the next round of collective bargaining.

Bill 47 also curtails existing protections against sex-based pay discrimination. It removes the right of workers who believe they are victims of sex-based pay discrimination from asking their employer to correct discrepancies without reprisal.

The legislative change also has direct repercussions for our Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) colleagues who are working on amalgamating their multiple bargaining units. Teaching and research assistants as well as markers, who are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) local 2626, will also be impacted should Bill 47 pass. Our workload and working conditions are intimately tied to those of our colleagues.

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association (OCUFA), along with the APUO, the Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA), the Faculty Associations at Algonquin College and at La Cité, and Fight for $15 and Fairness are organising a rally at the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Constituency Office at 10 a.m. on Friday November 2. We encourage all Members to join the rally and to invite their students to participate in this action. 

Here is a summary of other notable changes introduced to the Employment Standard Act through Bill 47:

Minimum Wage:

  • Cancelling of the scheduled January 1 increase to $15/hour and freezing the minimum wage at $14/hour for the next 33 months. Minimum wage increases tied to inflation to restart in 2020.

Union Certification:

  • Replacing card-based union certification with a secret ballot vote.
  • Repealing rules mandating employers to share employee contact information during a union certification drive.
  • Removing employee protections for those who engage in union certification drives.
  • Repealing the power of the Ontario Labour Relations Board to review and consolidate certified bargaining units.

Personal Emergency Leave:

  • Reintroduction of provisions allowing employers to require employees to provide a medical note from a qualified health practitioner for taking sick days.
  • 10 paid personal emergency days repealed and replaced with 3 unpaid days for sickness, 3 unpaid family emergency days, and 2 unpaid bereavement leave days.

Equal Pay for Equal Work:

  • Repealing equal pay for equal work for part-time, casual, temporary workers and assignment employee status (temporary help agency status).

Employer protection:

  • The government is reducing administrative penalties for employer-contraventions of the Employment Standards Act.

Bill 47 is a step backwards for Ontario workers. It proposes of series of changes that will harm a significant proportion of the Ontario population, as well as reversing what should be considered basic rights for precarious workers across the province. The APUO strongly encourages our Members to join us for the rally on November 2. If Bill 47 is adopted, we can reasonably expect future legislative changes that will impact our own collective agreement and the Ontario postsecondary education sector as a whole.

September Bulletin 2018

September 2018 Bulletin

Updates to the Collective Agreement

As reported on June 27, we are very pleased to have ratified our new Collective Agreement, which is in effect from May 1, 2018, to April 30, 2021. Here is a summary of the main modifications to the Collective Agreement.


For the duration of the new Collective Agreement, the complement of faculty appointments will continue to be 1,311. It is worth noting that the APUO is one of the few academic staff unions that has successfully negotiated a minimal complement in its Collective Agreement in recent years.


The following paragraph has been added to the Collective Agreement.

Preamble (article 2):

(c)             With respect to the University’s mission to recognise diversity and foster respect, and in accordance with the University’s equity goals, the parties intend to continue playing a key role in promoting members of equity seeking groups in all sectors of university life.

We also bargained changes to language to emphasize the need to increase the representation of “equity groups” rather than focusing on “gender representation.”

For those of you who are members of Appointment Committees, you will now be required to participate in a soon-to-be-developed equity training. All Appointment Committees shall now have at least one Member who is from an equity group (woman, Aboriginal, Member with a disability, Visible Minority).

We have reinforced the language around the need for the Central Administration to provide data to the Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee as it relates to the proportion of Equity Group members.

The APUO and the Central Administration signed a Letter of understanding on the creation of a Teaching Personnel Equity Committee. The Committee will be tasked with investigating potential constitutional, by-law and procedural changes to Teaching Personnel Committees (DTPC, FTPC, LPC, TPCI) that could make our hiring practices more equitable.

Finally, there is a Letter of Understanding to study the Gender Salary Differentials. The APUO and the Central Administration will create a Gender Wage Gap Committee (GWGC) to identify and correct gender-based salary anomalies.


Following a posting, the Librarian selection committee will consider internal candidates holding continuing appointments before external candidates.

Before revising a job description, the University Librarian shall now have to consult with the affected Librarian Member.

Continuing Special Appointment Professors (CSAP)

Once every five years, a CSAP member may apply for a four-month professional leave, with no reduction in remuneration, to enhance their teaching or perform scholarly activities.

Pilot project: Grievances

The APUO and the Central administration have agreed to implement a pilot project, for the duration of the Collective Agreement, replacing Step 2: Formal Grievance Committee (FGC) with a mediation session.

Student Evaluation data

The APUO and the Central Administration agree that for the next three academic years, the University may utilize the student evaluation data collected as authorized by the Senate in making career recommendations and decisions. The APUO has not provided its authorisation for any student evaluation collected electronically prior to July 2018. The two Parties will meet in May of each academic year to review whether issues arise from the use of student evaluations data in making career recommendations and decisions.

Salaries and benefits

Members will benefit from a two percent (2%) economic increase every year of the Collective Agreement. The same increase will be applied every year to the Progress-thru-the-Ranks amounts.

Changes to the Extended Health Plan

Coverage type Implementation date Change
Extended Health Plan May 1, 2019
  • Plan co-insured at 80%
  • A new “out of pocket” maximum on drugs per certificate per calendar year of $1,500.
May 1, 2020
  • Plan co-insured at 80%
  • “Out of pocket” maximum on drugs per certificate per calendar year increased at $2,000.
May 1, 2021
  • Plan co-insured at 80%
  • “Out of pocket” maximum on drugs per certificate per calendar year increased at $3,000.

Pension contributions

As of January 1, 2019, employee contributions to the pension will go up by 0.8% with full salary offset.

Retirees’ privileges and benefits

Retirees may receive, at no cost, a parking permit as per the negotiated agreement between the University and the Association of Professors Retired from the University of Ottawa (APRUO). The Central Administration will also provide the APRUO with suitable rooms as required for association business, free of charge, provided reasonable notice is given and space is available.


There will be an inventory of compensation for Members who take on various administrative tasks. This inventory will look at whether or not Members have, for example, salary top-ups, course releases, or research funds for the extra administrative duties they sometimes take on. The results of this inventory will put the APUO in a stronger position to include compensation for administrative duties in future collective agreements.

Salary Increases – Memorandum of Settlement 

As mentioned above, Members will benefit from a two percent (2%) economic increase every year of the Collective Agreement as well as a two percent (2%) increase to the Progress-thru-the-Ranks amounts. As the Collective Agreement took effect on May 1, 2018, you should have noticed the above-mentioned increase on your September 15 paycheck, and a retroactive pay will be issued no later than October 5, 2018.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

As outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities, education providers have a duty to accommodate students with disabilities. Our duty to accommodate is based on three principles: respect for dignity, individualization, and integration and full participation. Each student’s needs are unique and must be considered individually when accommodation requests are made. When providing accommodations, it is key that students be able to participate in the process, and have an opportunity to express their needs.

The University’s SASS (Student Academic Success Service)–Academic Accommodations runs a Portal for professors called “Ventus”. Through this portal, you can view the students from each of your courses who are registered with SASS–Academic Accommodations, their accommodations, view and verify confirmations of academic accommodation letters, submit and modify notices of examinations and proctor instruction sheets, and view uploaded exam files.

We encourage all Members to work with SASS–Academic Accommodations to ensure accommodations are delivered in a timely manner, and in a way that supports the success of all students. We also recommend looking through the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s policy on Accessible Education for Students with disabilities, specifically, Section 8 which outlines education providers’ duties to accommodate. Finally, please let us know if SASS does not have the resources to provide you with all the support you need.

The Ontario Government’s Free Speech Policy

On August 30, the Government of Ontario announced that Universities and Colleges will be mandated to adopt Free Speech policies by January 1, 2019. In its announcement, the Government further declared that these policies and their implementation on campus would be linked to operating and grant funding.

The APUO will continue to monitor the situation and will keep you informed of developments as the Central Administration takes steps to implement its own policy.

University of Ottawa 2017-2018 Financial Results

Earlier this week, Members should have received a communication from the Office of the President reporting a budgetary surplus of $15 million for the fiscal year ending on April 30, 2018. While Jacques Frémont seemed surprised by this outcome, the APUO would like to remind you that over the last decade, the University of Ottawa has recorded cumulative surpluses now amounting to $362 million.

While the President emphasized that this surplus is the result of austerity measures in the form of vacant positions, especially among support staff, we stress that this represents an increase in our workload and a deterioration of our working conditions. It appears that despite the continued financial health of our institution, the Central administration does not plan on addressing the concerns we’ve raised with regards to the quality of education being impacted by continued clawbacks to funding and resources that allow us to focus on teaching and research.

As has been the case in previous years, we will continue to monitor the financial situation of the University, and to advocate for additional support staff with the goal of fully carrying out the University’s mission and strategic goals.