“There is no better cure for precarious work than giving workers a voice. And there’s no better voice for workers than a union.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (25 Feb. 2016) — In his new music video, “Same Job,” Toronto-based artist Mohammad Ali of Socialist Hip Hop raps about the plight of precarious part-time workers in Ontario's 24 community colleges. “Same job, less hours, less pay, less power,” he rhymes. “Organize for a say, or watch your rights slip away.”
OSPEU/NUPGE continues its campaign to unionize part-time college support staff
Part-time workers in Ontario colleges have many different jobs — some are lab technicians, library assistants and registration clerks — however, all have one thing in common: they work without many of the workplace protections other Ontarians enjoy.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has been fighting for college part-timers’ right to unionize for over three decades. In September 2015, the union launched its latest campaign to organize thousands of part-time college support staff.
Ontario Premier says precarious work is a problem, colleges should listen
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas thinks the colleges seem to forget that they are public entities, supported by public dollars.
“When the Premier says we need to do something about precarious work, the colleges ought to listen,” he said. “There is no better cure for precarious work than giving workers a voice. And there’s no better voice for workers than a union.”
Part-time workers want a voice to negotiate better working conditions
Marilou Martin, Chair of the OPSEU College Support Staff Division, says part-timers face serious challenges in the college system.
“The situation of Ontarians doing precarious work is appalling. College part‑time workers don’t have any paid sick or vacation time. They have no drug benefits and no job security,” Martin says. “It’s a system that takes blatant advantage of part-time workers.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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