CAAT-S FT Wage Reopener update: Support our CAAT-S FT Bargaining Team – Wear Blue! Email your College President!

CAAT-S FT Wear blue July 11 against a blue backdrop and blue tshirt

Dear Members,

We have some important updates to share regarding our ongoing negotiations with the College Employer Council (CEC).

As you may know, Bill 124, which capped our wages at 1%, was struck down as unconstitutional in November 2022. This development means that our re-opener clause is now in effect.

The CEC and our College of Applied Arts and Technology Support Full-Time (CAAT-S FT) Bargaining Team are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on July 11, 2023, along with our mediator, William Kaplan. Our team has been diligently preparing to negotiate a fairer agreement for all our members.

We are all deeply concerned about the rising cost of living and how it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford basic necessities. We understand that a 1% wage increase is not sufficient given the escalating costs of food and other basics like rent.

We also acknowledge that there is a need for better provisions for mental health support and the ability to step in and provide care for our families.

We have been loud and clear on the importance of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and the necessity to actively engage in Reconciliation with our Indigenous communities, and we are committed to addressing these issues in our negotiations.

So, how can we help our team negotiate a better wage re-opener deal?

Here are a few ways:

Wear Blue on Tuesday July 11 to show support on campus, working from home, or on vacation.
Send pictures of you and your co-workers to this email: caatsftbargaining@opseu.org
Share pictures with your local president, and on social media with the hashtags #BlueForCAATS #OPSEUSEFPO
Send a letter to your College President letting them know that you expect the Colleges to come to the table ready to negotiate a fair deal (see sample letter below).

In solidarity from the bargaining team:

Christine Kelsey, Chair
Shelley Gartshore, Vice-Chair
Bob Holder
Dan Brisson
Mike McKeown
Marcia Steeves
Veronica Attard

email: caatsftbargaining@opseu.org

Sample letter to your College President:

Dear College President,

As you know, Bill 124 has been deemed unconstitutional and the re-opener clause in our Collective Agreement is now in full effect. As a unionized support staff of this esteemed institution, I am writing to you today regarding the upcoming meeting between our bargaining team and the College Employer Council (CEC).

It is vital for my well-being and the well-being of my family that we negotiate an increase in our wages to reflect the rising cost of living.

Despite my family’s best efforts, we continue to struggle to keep up with the rising costs of housing, groceries, and other essential expenses. I believe that it is only fair that our wages be adjusted to reflect the realities of the current economic landscape.

Furthermore, I believe that investing in our employees is an investment in the college itself. Our unionized workforce is a critical part of the college’s success, and I am proud of the work that I do each day. By offering fair wages and benefits, the college can ensure that its employees are able to stay focused on their work and continue to deliver the high-quality services that our students and community members rely on. I also believe it will enable the college to recruit new talent to our institution.

I urge you to consider our request for a cost-of-living increase in our wages and to use your voice as College President to direct the College Employer Council to enter into good-faith negotiations with our bargaining team when they meet in July 2023. By working together, we can find a solution that benefits both the college and its hardworking employees.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

(Members name)

#Support4Success