“It’s absolutely shameful, and OPSEU/NUPGE is going to make sure it doesn’t happen to contract faculty at George Brown, or any other college.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (01 April 2019) — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has filed an unfair labour practice complaint against George Brown College after it stripped paid sick days from college contract faculty.
Changes to working conditions illegal during "freeze period"
“Contract college faculty members already endure terrible working conditions — they are incredibly low-paid and have absolutely no job security,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
“Now George Brown is trying to take away their 2 paid sick days,” said Thomas. “It’s absolutely shameful, and OPSEU/NUPGE is going to make sure it doesn’t happen to contract faculty at George Brown, or any other college.”
In October 2017, thousands of college contract faculty across the province — including those at George Brown — voted on joining OPSEU/NUPGE. But, 18 months later, those votes still have not been counted because of numerous challenges, objections, and stall tactics being used by the College Employer Council, the body that oversees Ontario’s 24 public colleges.
Until the votes are counted, the contract faculty are in what is known as a “freeze period,” meaning it is illegal for the employer to change any of their working conditions without the consent of the union.
Employer needs to stop delaying counting of ballots
“Stripping paid sick days is an unacceptable change in working conditions, and that’s the basis of our complaint to the Ontario Labour Relations Board,” said RM Kennedy, OPSEU College Faculty Executive Chair.
“We’re confident we’ll get these paid sick days back for the contract faculty at George Brown,” Kennedy said.
“We’re also confident that when the College Employer Council stops obstructing the vote, contract faculty at George Brown — and every other college in the province — will be OPSEU/NUPGE’s newest members.”
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