It has been nearly one and half years since you voted on joining OPSEU. But your votes are sealed in ballot boxes and still haven’t been counted.
Because the College Employer Council (CEC), as it has done for decades, is using every trick in the book to stall and drag out the process, keeping you from exercising your constitutional right to join a union.
The first trick we think they’re pulling on you: “flooding the list.”
As part of any unionization process, the employer is supposed to send the labour board a list of all the employees who were members of the bargaining unit – in your case, all part-time and sessional faculty.
But the employer’s list contains thousands of names that our information indicates are wrong, incorrect, and misleading. If those names are included in the final list, your organizing drive could fail. And that’s not all: the employer’s list is also missing thousands of names that according to what we know should be included.
Therefore we are forced into looking at each and every name on the employer’s list to determine who actually belongs there, challenging every name that doesn’t, and adding every name that does. It’s painstaking work, but we are making progress.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the employer is dragging its heels by not giving us all the relevant evidence we need. But don’t worry, that won’t stop us. We will keep digging through records until the list is correct.
That’s not the only trick the employer is using. Now they’re dragging us into a labour board hearing this month to argue over the definition of the word “teacher.”
It seems clear to us that the employer is just ragging the puck. Again. Running down the clock so they can keep you underpaid and vulnerable for yet another term.
It’s frustrating. It’s unfair. And it means you have to wait even longer to put an end to the unfair wages and precarious working conditions you have to endure.
The good news is that OPSEU has a long history of standing up to the employer’s tricks – and winning:
- We stood up for full-time faculty’s right to vote on joining OPSEU. And when the votes were finally counted, they had overwhelmingly voted to join OPSEU.
- We stood up for full-time support staff’s right to vote on joining OPSEU. And when the votes were finally counted, they had overwhelmingly voted to join OPSEU.
- And for nearly two decades, we fought for part-time support staff’s right to vote on joining OPSEU. And when those votes were finally counted in January of 2018, they had also voted overwhelmingly to join OPSEU.
We’re confident that when the employer inevitably runs out of stall tactics and your ballots are finally counted, that you’ll have done what every other college worker in Ontario has done: voted overwhelmingly to join OPSEU.
We’ll keep you posted.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union