Strike averted at University of Ottawa with tentative deal

The university says it has reached a tentative deal with part-time professors.

The university has reached a tentative deal with part-time professors.

A strike has been averted after the University of Ottawa reached a deal with the union representing part-time professors. (Jean-Sebastien Marier/CBC)

Classes will continue as usual today at the University of Ottawa, after the union representing part-time professors reached a tentative deal with management early Monday morning.

The university announced the deal in a news release. The professors had been poised to strike on Monday.

"Part-time professors play an important role in our academic programs. I am pleased to see that we've been able to conclude a fair and reasonable agreement," said Jacques Frémont, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Ottawa. "I would like to thank members of both bargaining committees for their efforts."

Deal has yet to be ratified

The deal still needs to be ratified by the university's board of governors and by members of the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO). The association represents about 2,500 part-time professors, including sessional lecturers, contract professors in language and music courses and clinical professionals in the university's Health Sciences faculty. 

The professors have been without a contract since August 2016, and 92 per cent of members voted in favour of strike action if an agreement couldn't be reached by this Monday. 

A strike would have a major impact on the university, according to union spokesperson Shawn Philip Hunsdale, because part-time professors teach more than half of the undergraduate classes.

Students at eastern Ontario's four colleges are dealing with a faculty strike as well that has cancelled classes for the foreseeable future.