"At this time, our members are facing significant threats to job security and the membership has just given us a strong mandate to address these in conciliation." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU President
This decision is likely to set a precedent for other bargaining units affected by essential services legislation.
Nearly 2 weeks ago, a strong majority of these workers voted in favour of going on strike if the employer insists on a collective agreement that allows for contracting out.
“We definitely do not want to go on strike. But this strong strike vote shows that we’re not willing to let the employer reduce the quality of the services we provide by contracting work out." — MicheleThorn, OPSEU Local 454 Bargaining Chair
“Faculty are the real leaders trying to improve the college system, and I am immensely proud that we stood up for fairness for all faculty and a higher quality of education for our students.” — JP Hornick, Chair of the OPSEU college faculty bargaining team
“With cooperation from Council at the bargaining table I believe we can settle this strike in short order.” — JP Hornick, OPSEU's Chair of the faculty bargaining team
Students gathered on November 15 to show solidarity with striking OPSEU/NUPGE college academic workers.
“If the minister can tell the colleges how to spend the money they’ve saved, she can tell them how to bargain fairly as well. I encourage her to do so this weekend.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Negotiation is the only way to go at this juncture. I agree completely with recent statements by the Premier and by Advanced Education Minister Deb Matthews that the solution to this strike is at the bargaining table.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“It is hypocritical of the colleges, who promise students a good job and a bright future, to turn around and force thousands of contract staff into jobs with low pay, no benefits, and no job security of any kind.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Issuing an ultimatum is not negotiating. There’s nothing constructive about a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude to bargaining a collective agreement." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Ten cents an hour is akin to leaving a one cent tip at the end of a restaurant meal. It’s shameful.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“One of our top priorities is ensuring our services foster the inclusion and dignity that adults with developmental disabilities have a right to. However, the employer doesn’t think we deserve the same kind of dignity — not when they’re offering us dimes.” — Sue Walker, President, OPSEU Local 249
"All we're asking for is a fair deal for workers. We urge the employer to come back to the bargaining table with a view to getting a deal done." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“I want to thank these workers for taking a stand against the negative impacts of precarious work, which is a sad fact of life for far too many workers today.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“Our members see their Premier on the evening news promising improvements for workers. But when they show up for work in the morning, they find their government-owned employer continuing to exploit them." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“These hard-working members are seeking reasonable improvements and deserve a fair deal.” — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
NSGEU/NUPGE members at Laing House want a fair settlement for the people they serve, and themselves.
“It’s employers like this one who help maintain the massive gender wage gap in Ontario.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Striking workers at Community Living Campbellford/Brighton welcome donations to their hardship fund.