woman hold picket sign

Support staff at U. of Ottawa on legal strike

The support staff bargaining unit at the University of Ottawa (PSUO-SSUO) of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) went on legal strike as of 12:01 a.m., Monday, October 19, after nineteen months of bargaining did not result in a tentative agreement.

Over 1,300 members of the PSUO-SSUO Bargaining Unit provide support and services to students and professors at the university. They will be on a full withdrawal of services until a tentative deal is reached with the University of Ottawa.

On behalf of the WLUSA Executive, Karen Cleaver, Vice-President: External, wrote the following letter to President Jacques Fremont:

President Jacques Frémont,

I’m writing to you as the Vice-President: External of District 35, WLUSA Bargaining Unit of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation. I want to express my absolute solidarity and support for the members of the OSSTF/FEESO District 35 PSUO-SSUO Bargaining Unit as they engage in a legal strike against the University of Ottawa.

I find your attempts to strip health benefits coverage for the over 1,300 employees at your university appalling, especially in the middle of pandemic. These members of OSSTF/FEESO provide important services and supports for students and professors at the university. Yet, you demonstrate a high level of disrespect for the work they do by continuing to put significant cuts to their collective agreement on the table.

As a leader representing over 600 education workers in office, clerical and technical roles at Wilfrid Laurier University, I know our local members will be greatly disappointed to hear of the university’s attempts to strip the collective agreement.
Make no mistake, the 60,000 education workers and teachers of OSSTF/FEESO stand with the members of the PSUO/SSUO bargaining unit.

Karen Cleaver
Vice-President: External
District 35, WLUSA Bargaining Unit