“The fact our members overwhelmingly voted to join OPSEU/NUPGE in the largest organizing drive in Canadian history sends a strong message that times are changing. I hope this employer will work with us and make sure our members get a fair contract." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (24 May 2018) — The bargaining team for part-time support workers at Ontario’s 24 public colleges is optimistic as they begin negotiations for their very first collective agreement.
OPSEU/NUPGE hopeful about negotiations for thousands of part-time college workers
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) said he is hopeful the employer is ready to step up and do what is right for 20,000 of its workers who have suffered for decades under appalling working conditions.
“We’ve heard countless horror stories from our new members about poor pay and job security, no vacation time, they don’t even get sick days,” said Thomas.
“The fact our members overwhelmingly voted to join OPSEU/NUPGE in the largest organizing drive in Canadian history sends a strong message that times are changing. I hope this employer will work with us and make sure our members get a fair contract," he said.
Union bargaining team well prepared for negotiations
Ted Claeys, the OPSEU Bargaining Team Chair, said he is proud of the hard work that has gone into preparing for negotiations. “The bargaining team has worked hard on a reasonable proposal to present to the employer. Ontario’s public colleges should set the standard for fair workplaces. A good fair contract with staff is essential to ensuring students are fully supported with access to the quality services they need to be successful."
“The bargaining process shouldn’t be difficult. We already have a collective agreement for full-time support staff that this new document can be based on," said Claeys.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board certified part-time support workers at Ontario colleges on January 30, 2018.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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