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Carleton University Campus Safety workers return to work

Carleton University Campus Safety workers return to work

We the North
We the North
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OTTAWA – Campus Safety workers at Ottawa’s Carleton University have voted 66% in favour of a new contract. Workers will be back on the job on Tuesday, April 1 after a strike that lasted more than three weeks.

“I want to congratulate all of our OPSEU members at Carleton University today. Nobody wants to be on strike, but they did what it takes to ensure the campus remains a place where good jobs and student safety are respected,” said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

"Only 66% of the members voted in favour of this agreement. The employer has been given a clear message that the contract does not fully address all of the workers’ concerns. This is a first contract, and we expect there to be improvements in the future that further improve working conditions and make safety for everyone on campus a priority," said Thomas.

“Thanks to everyone who offered their solidarity while Campus Safety workers were on the picket line,” said Bargaining Team Chair, Brent Gobeo. “A huge number of OPSEU locals and members showed us support, and we especially appreciate the solidarity of CUPE 4600, NUPGE, CUPE 5500, CUPE 2424, CUASA, ATU 279 and the Ottawa and District Labour Council, as well as all of the many other unions, students, and members of the community. We are overwhelmed by the number of people who sent emails and letters, offered donations and joined us out on the line in spite of the cold weather.”

The three-year contract includes an increase in wages as well as improvements to job security.

Carleton University Safety Workers include special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More Information:

Steve Saysell, OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x8726,
ssaysell@opseu.org

Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President:
613-295-9040 (c)

On strike for student safety

March 19, 2014

OPSEU Local 404 is standing up for student safety on the Carleton Campus.

Right now, private security guards are replacing experienced safety staff and special constables. That’s an inadequate and dangerous substitute.

It’s time to get back to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair agreement – one that recognizes the need to hire and retain enough experienced staff to keep everyone safe on the growing campus.

OPSEU Local 404 includes constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

We need your help.

Please contact Carleton University President, Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte.

Tell her you expect her to make sure the university signs a fair agreement with its 50 safety staff. Tell her you expect her to provide safety for everyone on the Carleton campus.

T: 613 520-3801
E: roseann.runte@carleton.ca

For more Information:
Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair
613-295-9040

Campus Safety workers solidarity video

March 13, 2014

It's time to get back to the table and negotiate a fair contract for these workers. See the video now.

Carleton Campus Safety workers receive huge support

March 13, 2014

More than 100 supporters came out to the OPSEU Local 404 Solidarity Picket on March 11, 2014.

Including members of several OPSEU locals, NUPGE, CUPE 4600, Unifor, PSAC, USW and more, the rally was upbeat and received loud praise and honking from passing drivers. Cars were backed up 20 deep as they received flyers and information about the strike before they entered the campus.

President Warren (Smokey) Thomas attended the Solidarity Picket along with Region 4 Board Members Chris Cormier and Dave Lundy. While there, they took advantage of the opportunity to pay President Roseann O’Reilly Runte an unexpected visit.

Thomas let Runte know face-to-face and in no uncertain terms that it’s time to get Carleton University Campus Safety staff back to work with a fair contract:

“This is a wealthy university that pays its president more than $400,000 a year. You can afford to make campus safety a priority,” said Thomas.

The Ottawa area will be blanketed with radio and print ads starting shortly.

How can you support these workers?

Please call or email President Roseann O’Reilly Runte today.

Tell her Carleton can afford to make student safety a priority.

T: 613.520.3801
E: roseann.runte@carleton.ca

Join the picket line from 6am to 6pm each day.

Donations are gratefully accepted at the following address:

OPSEU
2525 St. Laurent Blvd.
Suite 103
Ottawa, ON K1H 8P5

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Ottawa Citizen: Strike by Carleton University security workers worries daycare staff, parents

March 12, 2014

The Ottawa Citizen reports: "Staff at a Carleton University daycare say they’re concerned that the absence of striking special constables could leave the kids the facility cares for at risk."

Read the full story (mobile version only) by visiting: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/touch/story.html?id=9606034 

OPSEU News Releases

Solidarity picket calls for safety at Carleton University: OPSEU

March 11, 2014

OTTAWA – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas as well as other OPSEU Board Members will be attending the picket line at Carleton University on Tuesday, March 11. Campus Safety workers at Ottawa’s Carleton University are on strike as of 12:01 Monday morning, after the employer refused to negotiate a fair contract.

WHAT: Strike solidarity with OPSEU President
WHERE: Picket line at Bronson and Sunnyside, Carleton University Campus
WHEN: 11 am, Tuesday, March 11

Carleton University has brought in replacement workers from the company Securitas rather than offer their Campus Safety staff a fair contract.

“These workers are defending safety for all of the students at Carleton University,” said Thomas. “I am calling on the University President, Roseann O’Reilly Runte, to demonstrate a serious commitment to ensuring this campus is safe. It’s time to invest in their frontline staff and offer them a fair contract so that we can put an end to the strike.”

“Carleton University has enough money to pay President, Roseann O’Reilly Runte $400,000 a year. They can certainly afford to make campus safety a priority,” said Thomas.

Nearly half of Carleton University Campus Safety workers earn under 12 dollars an hour. Another key concern is that the number of Campus Safety staff has not kept pace with the growing student population.

There are 50 Carleton University Safety Workers including special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More Information:

Nelson Ross Laguna
OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x5445
NRossLaguna@opseu.org

Brent Gobeo
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President:
613-295-9040 (c)

Carleton University Campus Safety workers forced to strike

March 10, 2014

Campus Safety workers at Ottawa’s Carleton University are on strike as of 12:01 Monday morning, March 10, 2014.

"Our members are deeply disappointed that we were not able to reach an agreement with Carleton University," said OPSEU Negotiator, Nelson Ross Laguna.

"Nobody wants a strike," said Ross Laguna, "but we will do what it takes to ensure the employer comes back to the table ready to negotiate a fair agreement with their Campus Safety workers."

Key issues leading to the impasse were job security and lack of sufficient staffing to ensure campus safety.

While Carleton University has grown from 20,000 students in 2007 to more than 30,000 students today, the number of Campus Safety workers has not increased to match this growth in need.

OPSEU Local 404 shares the March 10 strike deadline with CUPE 4600, and the two unions will continue to support each other until fair contracts are reached with Carleton University. CUPE 4600 represents Carleton teaching assistants and contract instructors.

There are 50 Carleton University Safety Workers including special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More Information:

Nelson Ross Laguna
OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x5445
NRossLaguna@opseu.org

Carleton University Campus Safety workers near strike deadline

March 4, 2014

OTTAWA – Campus Safety workers at Ottawa’s Carleton University have a strike deadline of 12:01 Monday morning, March 10, 2014.

With three days of bargaining scheduled for March 7, 8 and 9, the workers remain hopeful that they will receive an offer of a fair contract before the deadline is reached.

Carleton is a prosperous University that has experienced exceptional growth, from 20,000 students and staff to 30,000 since 2007. The number of Campus Safety workers has not grown to match the increased need.

“Carleton University says they value the importance of student safety on campus. Now it’s time to for them walk the talk and invest in their frontline staff,” said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

Campus Safety workers at Carleton University receive lower wages and benefits than their counterparts at other major universities such as Guelph, University of Toronto and Western.

“All we are asking for is what is fair. These workers deliver around-the-clock safety services to students on campus, and deserve at least some basic respect from their employer. Many of them are earning barely more than minimum wage,” said OPSEU Negotiator, Nelson Ross Laguna, who has been working to help reach a contract with Carleton University since October 2013.

“If these workers are forced to go on strike we don’t see how campus safety can be maintained in their absence,” said Ross Laguna.

OPSEU Local 404 shares the March 10 strike deadline with CUPE 4600, and the two unions are supporting each other in solidarity throughout their respective negotiations with Carleton University. CUPE 4600 represents Carleton teaching assistants and contract instructors.

There are 50 Carleton University Safety Workers including special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More information:

Nelson Ross Laguna
OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x5445
NRossLaguna@opseu.org

Brent Gobeo,
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President:
613-295-9040 (c)

Carleton University Campus Safety Workers vote in favour of strike

February 10, 2014

Campus Safety Workers at Carleton University have voted 97.4% in favour of a strike should one be necessary. Close to perfect attendance at the vote means there is very strong support for strike action if the employer refuses to negotiate a reasonable contract.

“It is unfortunate that labour relations at Carleton University have come to this,” said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It’s time for the University to make some serious decisions about commitment to campus safety.”

Campus Safety Workers at Carleton University have called in a conciliator to help with ongoing contract negotiations. Their union, OPSEU, has also filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint after the employer began targeting workers who wear union buttons and stickers.

“To our knowledge, Campus Safety workers have never been on strike in all of Canada. This would be an unfortunate way for Carleton University to make history,” said Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair and OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President.

Numerous student groups and unions representing workers at Carleton University attended an information picket on Wednesday, February 5. OPSEU local 404, CUPE 4600, the Graduate Students Association, the OPIRG and CUASA came together for this picket to let students and the community know how the University is treating staff.

Carleton University Safety Workers include special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More information:

Nelson Ross Laguna,
OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x5445, NRossLaguna@opseu.org

Brent Gobeo,
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President:
613-295-9040

Carleton University campus safety workers file unfair labour practice complaint

February 4, 2014

OTTAWA – Carleton University has ordered their Campus Safety Workers to remove union buttons and stickers, leading the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to file an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Carleton University has declared that union buttons and stickers do not conform to their uniform policy, however OPSEU believes this claim is simply anti-union.

“I do not believe for a minute that Carleton University is acting out of concern about their uniform policy. This employer is attempting to undermine contract negotiations,” said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

Carleton University has encouraged Campus Safety Workers to wear Remembrance Day poppy pins and ribbons in support of the campaign to end violence against women.

“I have been told to remove my union button,” said Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair and OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President. “Yet my employer has never had a problem with me wearing a pin or ribbon before. First we had to call in a Conciliation Officer to help with our contract negotiations, and now the employer is being openly anti-union. This is not the best way to arrive at a collective agreement with your staff.”

“We are very concerned about low staffing levels. There is a serious lack of investment in frontline staff in spite of campus growth,” said Gobeo. “We are hoping the negotiation of this contract will improve staffing and campus safety for the students.”

Carleton University Safety Workers include special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.

More information:

Nelson Ross Laguna,
OPSEU Negotiator:
1-800-268-7376 x5445,
NRossLaguna@opseu.org

Brent Gobeo,
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President:
613-295-9040 (c)

Carleton University Campus Safety Workers file for conciliation

January 17, 2014

Department of Safety Workers at Carleton University have filed for conciliation after attempts to negotiate a first contract slowed to a snail’s pace.

“We have had 10 full days of bargaining, with almost nothing to show for it. Negotiations could last all year if a conciliation officer doesn’t help move things along,” said Negotiator, Nelson Ross Laguna.

“We are looking for a fair contract, and there are some very real issues to address. Tying up important negotiation time with endless debate of each detail will not get us to a collective agreement,” said Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair and Local 404 Vice President

Carleton University keeps on growing, investing in new buildings, and requiring more and more safety services.

“Workers are constantly being asked to do more with less, and staffing levels are not keeping pace,” said Devon Reeves, President of OPSEU Local 404 at Carleton University. “This collective agreement will be an important tool to ensure the university campus meets the safety needs of students.”

Carleton University Safety Workers include special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers. The 50 workers joined OPSEU in May, 2013.