Strike began in mid-August against Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
Toronto (30 Aug. 2010) - Two days of mediation have been scheduled in an attempt to break the deadlock in the strike by employees of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), which began Aug. 16 over the employer's refusal to negotiation.
The new effort with the aid of a mediator will begin between negotiators for the school and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) on Wednesday, Sept. 1.
“We’re pleased to be heading back to the table but the effort will be worthless unless we see real progress on the 19 outstanding issues that the employer seems very reluctant to negotiate,” says Tyler England, chair of the Local 667 bargaining team.
OPSEU represents more than 150 administrative, clerical and technical staff at Laurentian University in Sudbury and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. NOSM also operates satellite campuses in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins.
Negotiations date back nearly a full year to September 2009.
Meanwhile, the union received the full support last week of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS Ontario), which represents 300,000 students across the province.
The resolution, approved at the CFS annual meeting, was presented by the Lakehead University Students’ Union and the Algoma University Students’ Union. CFS Ontario has more than 30 member student unions at universities and colleges in the province. The resolution reads:
Whereas on Aug. 16, 2010, the employees of OPSEU Local 677 at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine engaged in strike action when bargaining talks failed; and
Whereas the employees of the union are crucial to the betterment of education at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine’s Thunder Bay and Sudbury campuses and at satellite campuses in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins; and
Whereas these employees contribute to making medical studies possible in Northern Ontario;
Be it resolved the striking workers of Local 677 be supported; and
Be it further resolved that member locals be encouraged to write letters of support and participate to promote solidarity towards a common goal of access and fairness in the post-secondary sector.
The employees walked out to back demands for a fair settlement. Outstanding issues include overtime, workloads, job classification and sick leave.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
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