Issue #8, September 16, 2011
College workers modify demands to restart contract talks
(TORONTO) – The union representing striking community college support workers has substantially modified its demands in a bid to resume negotiations in the two-week old job action.
The bargaining team representing more than 8,000 support workers at 24 colleges across Ontario said today it is prepared to make moves on the substantive issues that management has identified.
“By modifying our demands on wages and retiree benefits we demonstrated our commitment to the bargaining process and the students to return to contract talks,” said Rod Bemister, chair of the bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.
Bemister said the provincially-appointed mediator in the dispute has been advised of the union’s new position and that he expected the mediator to deliver that message to management negotiators today. He also called for a news blackout upon the resumption of contract talks.
Contract talks could resume as early as Sept. 17.
“This strike has gone on two weeks too long,” said Bemister. “We’ve heard from thousands of student, parents, faculty and from the general public and we believe by today’s announcement we are delivering on their expectations that the two sides must get back to the contract table and hammer out an agreement.”