APUO Annual General Meeting – Spring 2018

The APUO Annual General Meeting will take place on 26 April 2018 from 11:30 to 15:00, in Alumni Auditorium – University Centre.

This will be the occasion to elect members of the 2018-2019 APUO Executive Committee, who are responsible for the management of current matters as well as urgent ones. As we are currently in negotiation, this is a critical year and your participation at the annual general meeting is crucial. Sandwiches and coffee will be served.

Here are the documents for the meeting:

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) strives to make its services accessible to all persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations to access or to fully participate in this event, please contact Michel Desjardins (apuodir@uottawa.ca, 613-230-3659) at the APUO office no later than three (3) working days prior to the meeting/event. Such advance notice is essential for the APUO to make arrangements for any appropriate accommodation requests. 


Solidarity with CUPE 2424

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) wishes to express its solidarity with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 2424, the union representing over 800 administrative, technical, and library staff at Carleton University. Members of CUPE 2424 are currently on strike to safeguard their bargaining rights and to protect their pension benefits.

We denounce Carleton University’s attempts to remove pension benefits from the Collective Agreement with CUPE 2424, and the misinformation campaign they have been engaging in about the union and the bargaining process. Eliminating pension benefits from the Collective Agreement would allow Carleton University to unilaterally alter and claw back benefits in the pension plan, without consulting the union or its membership. We are furthermore, extremely concerned with Carleton University’s practice of downloading CUPE 2424 work on our peers represented by Carleton University Academic Staff Association (CUASA). The APUO calls on Carleton University to return to the bargaining table, re-engage in negotiations in good faith, and cease to engage in unfair labour practices.

The APUO wholeheartedly supports CUPE 2424’s efforts to protect their bargaining rights and their members’ pension benefits. Precarious labour is on the rise at postsecondary institutions across the country, and we commend the work of CUPE 2424 in defending the working conditions of administrative, technical and library staff at Carleton University.

Collective Bargaining Update

Dear members,

Collective bargaining began on January 31, when both parties tabled their normative proposals. They will present their financial proposals at the April 4 meeting. Similarly to the 2015-2016 round of negotiations, the meetings are conducted respectfully. Each party submits written proposals, explains them, and has the opportunity to justify the relevance of proposed additions, withdrawals or amendments. However, as the weeks have progressed, and as demonstrated in the table below (data as of March 9), negotiations appear to have stalled:

Number of proposals Number and proportion of proposals that have received a response Number and proportion of negative counter-proposals Number and proportion of counter-proposals demonstrating a willingness to identify an acceptable solution for both parties
University administration 17 17 (100%) 26 of the 27 proposals tabled by the APUO (96%)


1 of the 27 proposals tabled by the APUO (4%)
APUO 34 27 (79%) 9 of the 17 proposals tabled by the Administration (53%) 8 of the 17 proposals tabled by the Administration (47%)

So far, as you can see, the Administration’s team has not been negotiating in a spirit of exchange and compromise. They have rejected all but one of the APUO proposals to which they have replied. The tabled changes to the language of Article 17, which aim to replace all references of under-representation of women and men to “equity groups,” is the only APUO proposal being considered by the Administration.

Additionally, the Administration refuses to renew the APUO complement (minimum employment level). In practical terms, if it is not renewed, this will allow the Administration to abolish the positions of full-time faculty and librarians who leave the University, be it for retirement or any other reason. This will not only result in an increased workload for APUO members (who are already overburdened) but also in a considerable impoverishment of teaching and research at the University of Ottawa.

Many of us hoped that Jacques Frémont’s arrival as President would have a positive impact on the Administration’s approach at the bargaining table. Regrettably, we note that this is not the case at all. Given this situation, rest assured that the APUO team is calm, methodical and working tirelessly to get the Administration to negotiate. Nevertheless, your support and commitment are essential to the signing of a fair, equitable and accountable agreement for the future of the quality of teaching and research (as a whole) at our University. We will continue to keep you informed of both positive and negative developments at the bargaining table. We also remain available to meet with your academic unit upon your request, in a spirit of accountability, transparency, and collegiality. To do so, please contact our President Susan Spronk at apuopres@uottawa.ca.

Update – Campaign on the issue of workload

Dear members,

During the fall semester, a group of nine professors from five faculties wrote a letter to the Vice-President Academic and Provost regarding workload. This letter, which you can read here, aimed to bring the increasing workload of professors to his attention and requested that he rectifies the situation. In particular, the letter called for the hire of more support staff, emphasizing that support staff members are overworked as well. We are now in a position to provide you with an update on this collective action.

Distributed with the support of the APUO, the letter garnered remarkable support: 354 regular professors and four librarians (with gender parity), i.e. nearly one-third of the APUO membership. This number is all the more impressive as many assistant professors mentioned that they did not sign the letter for fear of delaying or jeopardizing their promotion – which conveys a worrying message about the work environment at the University of Ottawa. Thus, only 35 of 228 assistant professors signed the letter, compared to 159 of 313 associate professors, and 157 of 328 full professors.

The letter was sent to the Vice-President Academic and Provost on December 11 and was acknowledged by him on December 13. On January 30, three of the authors of the letter met with David Graham (Vice-President Academic and Provost), Sylvain Charbonneau (Vice-President Research), and Marc Joyal (Vice-President Resource). The authors reported on the situation and reiterated the importance of a rapid and concrete response to the problems described in the letter. On February 6, at a meeting of the Joint Consultation and Communication Committee (article 5.7 of the Collective Agreement) attended by David Graham, APUO representatives reiterated that members are very concerned with the increased workload and that they expect the administration to take swift and concrete action to improve the situation.

On February 8, in his reply to the letter, the Vice-President Academic and Provost thanked the authors for their contribution to the University administration’s reflection and wrote the following:

As we have told you, we are currently undertaking an in-depth review of our administrative services to make these support activities more flexible, streamlined and improved. The question of the role and size of support staff will undoubtedly arise in the context of this review, including whether our numbers are insufficient or how our staff are distributed and deployed within our academic and administrative units.

The APUO thanks David Graham for taking the time to meet with and listen to the authors of the letter. Under Allan Rock’s administration, the letters from APUO members were often unanswered.

That said, the Vice-President Academic and Provost’s response offers nothing concrete in the short term. In this context, we recently asked David Graham that the review be conducted in a transparent manner, with a known timeframe, and in cooperation with the various unions on campus. We are awaiting for his response. Please rest assured that we will continue to work on this issue in close collaboration with the authors of the letter. We will inform you of any significant developments. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

The APUO executive

Opposition to the University of Ottawa Executive Compensation Program

Dear members,

As some of you may already know, on February 3, the Central administration tabled the University of Ottawa Executive Compensation Program. This Program is proposing significant salary increase for five senior executive positions.

Here is a breakdown of the proposed increases:

Position Current salary Proposed increase Total if salary increase is approved
President $ 395,000 $ 59,600 $ 454,600
Vice-President Academic and Provost $ 297,000 $ 53,500 $ 350,500
Vice-President Research $ 297,677 $ 2,123 $ 299,800
Vice-President Resources $ 270,000 $ 28,700 $ 298,700
Vice-President External Relations $ 300,000 $ 11,900 $ 311,900

Over the last decade, the University administration has adopted austerity budgets, forcing the community as a whole to work towards a common vision, Destination 2020, with fewer resources. In the last two years alone, the Central administration has imposed 4% budgetary cuts to all Faculties, cuts to the library, and continuously increases the workload of professors, librarians, and support staff, all-the-while increasing student tuition fees. These cuts have a direct impact on this institution’s ability to fulfill its strategic mandate, which is, delivering the highest quality of education and research, and improving the student experience.

The University of Ottawa Executive Compensation Program is available in full here. The APUO is vehemently opposed to this Executive Compensation Program proposal and urges its members, and the community as a whole, to participate in the ongoing consultation. To help facilitate participation, the APUO has created a template letter highlighting our concerns with the Executive Compensation Program. We encourage you to visit the following link to quickly and easily send a letter. The link will take you to the APUO’s drafted template letter, which you can edit and personalize. Moreover, at your next departmental unit meeting, we encourage you to adopt a motion similar to the one adopted by our colleagues in the School of Political Studies to collectively express your disapproval of the proposals found in the Executive Compensation Program. You have until March 2, 2018, to participate in the consultation.

In solidarity,

The APUO Executive

Bargaining update – the Central administration’s proposals

Dear members,

On January 31, 2018 the APUO and representatives of the Central administration exchanged all normative proposals for collective bargaining. As discussed in the presentation sent in our previous message, the Central administration and the APUO are waiting on a benefits study of comparator universities to table proposals on salary and benefits. Once both parties have submitted their proposals, these will be shared with APUO members.

The APUO’s normative proposals are available in full, divided by theme:

  1. Ensure open, transparent and fair governance
  2. Create fair and equitable working conditions
  3. Improve quality of education
  4. Improve CSAP, Librarians and Language Teachers’ working conditions
  5. Establish efficient negotiations
  6. Housekeeping

Members can read through the Central administration’s proposals in full here. This is a brief summary of their key proposed changes:

  • Change language to allow the Central administration to increase teaching loads in academic units where the current teaching load is less than it was in 1992-94.
  • Make it easier for Deans to withhold annual progress-through-the-ranks (PTR) salary increases.
  • Erode established procedural justice mechanisms in order to make it easier to impose disciplinary measures on APUO members.
  • Remove language that requires the Central administration to obtain the APUO’s consent before using new teaching evaluation instruments including the form and content of teaching evaluation questionnaires completed by students.
  • Remove the obligation of the Senate to follow the collective agreement (CA) and due process if it chooses to evaluate programs and members.
  • Allow the University Librarian to appoint a visiting librarian without consulting the Librarian Personnel Committee (LPC).
  • Exclude all Vice-deans from the bargaining unit.

The APUO looks forward to discussing measures to improve equity and diversity amongst faculty and librarians at the University. Last spring, the University of Ottawa committed to improving equity and diversity in the research environment as part of the U15 (Groups of Canadian research universities).

Should you and your academic unit want additional information about this round of collective bargaining, the APUO executive would welcome an invitation to present and discuss these with you. Please send your requests to apuoco@uottawa.ca

In solidarity,

The APUO executive

Start Of Collective Bargaining

Dear members,

We wish to inform you that on January 31, the APUO has begun collective bargaining and tabled its proposals to the Employer, which are summarized in the following Powerpoint.

We thank all members who attended Monday’s Special General Meeting and provided valuable feedback and a mandate that will guide us during this round of collective bargaining.

Here is a list of the members of the APUO Collective bargaining team:

Michel Desjardins, APUO Administrative Director (Chief Negotiator)
Jean-Daniel Jacob, First Vice-President, APUO Executive Committee (School of Nursing)
Dalie Giroux, Academic Officer, APUO Executive Committee (School of Political Studies)
Richard L. Hébert, member of the APUO Board of Directors (Faculty of Medicine)
Susan Spronk, President, APUO Executive Committee (School of International Development and Global Studies)

Members for specific topics:

Paul Saurette member of the APUO Board of Directors (School of Political Studies)
Colin Montpetit, Officer-at-Large, APUO Executive Committee (Department of Biology)
Natasha Udell, APUO Legal Counsel

Should you and your academic unit want additional information about the proposals we put forward, the APUO executive would welcome an invitation to present and discuss these with you. Please send your requests to apuoco@uottawa.ca

As we move ahead in these negotiations, we will keep you informed of important developments.

In solidarity,

The APUO executive

December 2017 Bulletin

Debunking uOttawa’s claim that there is a financial deficit 

Every year, the University of Ottawa’s central administration claims to be facing financial difficulties. Despite this, year after year, the University ends its fiscal year with surpluses. In fact, over the last 9 years, the University has registered cumulative surpluses amounting to $347 million.

The APUO analyzed the University of Ottawa audited financial statements of the last 10 years. These documents, which are prepared as per Canadian Accounting standards, paint a picture of the University’s true financial situation based on verified revenues and expenses, and facts. Audited financial statements provide a much more objective analysis of the university’s finances. You can view a presentation on the results of the analysis here.

Framing the issue: Budgets vs. Audited Financial statements

The Central administration claimed that the University ended the last fiscal year with a budgetary deficit of $5.1 million.  It’s important to keep in mind that a budget is a future projection of planned revenues and spending, requires and receives no third-party oversight, and is built upon assumptions decided by the Central administration itself. A budget is nothing more than a document that articulates an organisation’s priorities, by demonstrating where they will allocate financial resources.

The reality is that the University’s own audited financial statements indicate a $48.6 million surplus ($12.1 million excluding unrealized gains) for the 2016-2017 fiscal year. Following the analysis of the audited financial statements, the only reasonable conclusion we can make is that the University is in excellent financial shape.

Manufactured crisis

The Central administration is manufacturing a financial crisis. This serves as a pretext to hike tuition fees, impose cuts across campus, and give campus unions a difficult time during collective bargaining.

If the central administration is truly concerned about its financial situation, there are alternatives to another austerity budget. The university could reduce capital acquisition expenses by slowing down the rate of construction, or shuffle some of the Internally Restricted Funds into the operational budget to keep it afloat (these subjects are explained in details in the presentation).

If you wish to analyze the University of Ottawa’s financial statements, they are available here.

To look at the University of Ottawa budgets, click here.

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee progress update for 2016-2017

The Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa (APUO) wishes to thank members of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (EDIC), a joint committee comprised of APUO members and members appointed by the employer, for their work on equity and hiring practices at the University of Ottawa. In November, the committee updated the APUO and the Employer on the progress of their work for the 2016-2017 academic year.

While their update highlights some key areas for improvement concerning gender representation and equity, the APUO is disappointed with the fact that the Employer refused to provide EDIC access to data to analyze the representation of visible minorities, aboriginal persons, and persons with disabilities. Unfortunately, the APUO is unsurprised by the gaps in the information provided to EDIC, and we suspect that this is an attempt to cover up campus inequities as it relates to the lack of diversity amongst professors.

We urge the employer to make available to the EDIC the data about professors of visible minority groups, aboriginal professors, and professors with disabilities. It is crucial that this data be examined to identify gaps in equity and inclusivity on campus, and to find meaningful ways to address shortfalls in equitable representation amongst professors at the University of Ottawa.

As the APUO prepares for the beginning of the next round of collective bargaining, we value the findings of the EDIC and look forward to identifying concrete solutions to address inequities with the employer.

Below is a summary of the findings of the EDIC regarding gender equity as it relates to representation, pay, and time to promotion.

Gender Representation

As stated in section of the Collective Agreement, a unit (department, faculty or school) is considered as having an under-representation of women, or an under-representation of men, if the proportion of one gender or the other is below 40%. In other words, for the purposes of the EDIC’s analysis, gender balance is considered to be achieved if the percentage of women full-time professors in a given department and faculty is between 40% and 60%.

Here are some of the highlights in the EDIC’s findings regarding gender representation in each unit.

Faculty of Arts

Overall, the representation of women among full time professors in the Faculty of Arts is 44%. The representation of women is 25% in the Deparment of linguistics, 27% in the School of Music, 27% in the Department of Philosophy, 33% in the Département de Français, and 37% in the Department of Communication. Gender representation is balanced in the departments of English, Geography, History, Classics and Religious studies, Theatre, in the School of Translation and Interpretation, and in the Deparment of Modern Languages where the representation of women is 40%, 41%, 42%, 43%, 44%, 45%, and 50% respectively. There is an under-representation of men in the Department of Visual Arts, the School of Information Sciences, and the Institute of Official Languages and Bilingualism where 70%, 75% and 88% of professors are women.

Telfer School of Management

Women at the Telfer School of Management are under-represented making up 37% of full-time professors.

Faculty of Education

In the Faculty of Education, gender representation is considered balanced, with 56% of professors being women.

Faculty of Engineering

In the Faculty of Engineering, there is an under-representation of women who only make up 21% of full-time professors. Women represent 15% of full-time professors in the department of Civil Engineering, 18% in the department of Mechanical Engineering, 20% in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and 38% in the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

Faculty of Medicine

In the Faculty of Medicine, women are under-represented and make up 33% of full-time professors. Women are under-represented in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology, as well as the Depertment of Cellular and Molecular Medicine making up 24% and 25% of full-time professors respectively. The representation of women in the Department of Innovation in Medical Education and in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health is balanced at 50% and 58% respectively.

Faculty of Health Sciences

There is an overall under-representation of men in the Faculty of Health Sciences with women making up 65% of full-time professors. In the School of Human Kinetics and the School of Nutrition Sciences, gender representation is balanced with women making up 44% and 60% of full-time faculty. In the Interdisciplinary school  of Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, and the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, there is an under-representation of men, who only make up 36%, 21%, and 19% of full-time professors.

Common Law & Civil Law

There is a gender balance representation in the Faculty of Law,  Common Law Section and Civil Law Section, with 54% and 52% of full-time professors being women.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Overall, 45% of Full-Time professors in the Faculty of Social Sciences are women. There is an under-representation of women in the Department of Economics, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of International Development and Global Studies, and the School of Political Studies, with women making up 24%, 31%, 32% and 36% respectively. The School of Social Work, the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies, the School of Psychology, and the Department of Criminology have a balanced gender representation among professors at 43%, 52%, 52%, and 56%.

Faculty of Science

In the Faculty of Science, women are under-represented, making up only 22% of all full-time professors. The Department of Physics has the lowest representation of women across the university at 9%. In the departments of Mathematics and Statistics, Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Biology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences, women representation among full-time professors is at 22%, 25%, 26% and 29% respectively.

The following table was produced by the EDIC and lists all University of Ottawa units.

Total faculty and % representation of women by faculty and department
Distribution by Gender across Departments

Gender representation in comparison to the labour market

Article of the Collective Agreement also states that a department that hasn’t reached a gender balance should aim to have 5% points above the proportion of women or men, as the case may be, in the labour market. The proportion of women and men in the labour market is normally determined by the number of PhDs in the relevant discipline awarded by Canadian Universities in the last five years. For example, if 23% of recent PhD graduates in Canada are women, then the target range for women based on the market would be 28% through 60%. For programs or discipline where recent PhD graduates exceeds 60%, the target would be 5% below the labour market. For example, if 93% of recent PhD graduates in Nursing are women, then the target range for women would be 40-88%.

Based on these criteria, the EDIC did a deeper analysis of gender representation within departments that don’t meet the 40 % threshold discussed above.

The following departments continue to fall short of the 5% points above the proportion of women on the labour market target:

  • Department of Physics
  • Department of Linguistics
  • Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
  • Department of Biology
  • Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
  • Department of Civil Engineering
  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Département de français
  • Department of Philosophy
  • School of Music
  • School of Political Studies
  • Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
  • Telfer School of Management
  • Department of Communication

The School of Nursing, the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute, and the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, are within the target range in terms of gender representation in comparison to the labour market.

The Interdisciplinary school  of Health Sciences, the department of Visual Arts, the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies, and the School of Information Studies all continue to have an underrepresentation of men in comparison to the labour market.

The following table was produced by the EDIC.

Representation of women by faculty and department compared to recent PhD graduates in the field in Canada

Pay Equity

According to the EDIC’s analysis, the salary gap has been decreasing across all ranks. However, we must remember that this progress doesn’t address the cumulative impact of the year-over-year gender gap when it comes to both salaries and pensions. The gender salary gap for Full Professors has decreased between 1995 and 2016 from -9.4% in favor of men to -2.3%. At the Associate Professor level, the gap decreased from -9.4% in favour of men in 1995 to -1.2% in 2016. The gender salary gap has only favoured women when there have been just as many or more women in a given department.

Gender promotion gap

When looking at the average time to promotion between men and women from Assistant professor to Associate rank the gap narrowed on average from 1 year and 10 months in 2001 to 11 months in 2004. When looking at the difference in time to promotion between men and women from Associate to Full professor rank, the EDIC notes a significant difference in the Faculty of Education, where women can wait 9 years and 7 months longer than men for their promotion. In the Faculty of Medicine, women have been promoted from Associate to Full professor rank 6 years later than men. On the other hand, in the Faculty of Science, women have been promoted from Associate to Full professor rank 3 years and 6 months earlier than men.

We hope you find this bulletin useful. For more information, you can visit our website at www.apuo.ca, reach us by email, or by phone 613-230-2659