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College Support Part-time Bargaining Bulletin #4: Show solidarity with your bargaining team on June 5!

College Support Part-time Bargaining Bulletin #4: Show solidarity with your bargaining team on June 5!

Full-timers support Part-timers
Full-timers support Part-timers
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Show solidarity with your bargaining team on June 5!

Members of your Local Union will be distributing stickers to both part-time and full-time support staff with the messages “Equality and Fairness for All” and “Full-timers support Part-timers”. Wear your sticker at work on June 5 to show management that we are sticking together as your team goes back to the bargaining table on Tuesday.

Wearing a solidarity sticker is a common union practice to show solidarity during bargaining, and has been done at the colleges during past negotiations. Our right to wear a sticker supporting our union stems from the right that all Canadians have to Freedom of Expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Thank you to all of our college support staff, both part-time and full-time members, for your support of the bargaining team and the negotiations process. Your support gives us the strength we need to make sure we reach the best possible collective agreement.

Telling our stories

So many College Support Part-time staff have a hard time just trying to survive and make ends meet.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas heard many of these stories on the recent telephone town-hall meeting. “These stories from our members only increase OPSEU’s resolve to make sure this employer addresses the disgraceful working conditions part-time support workers face. We are now at a historic turning point. As we negotiate a first collective agreement for part-time support staff, I am determined to ensure these new members enjoy the full benefits of union representation.”

The following story is shared anonymously to protect the identity of the worker.

Part-time and on the front line: A true story

I have been working with the college for many years as part-time support staff. I receive 24 hours a week and am expected to be at the college 5 days a week. I do not receive pay over Reading Week or between semesters (my contract ends and is renewed every semester).

I am a dedicated employee who absolutely loves my job, my colleagues and the students I mentor.

To help support my family I also work weekends at another job since 24 hours per week is not to enough to pay the bills.

On a weekly basis I work more hours at the College than I am paid for. I am certain I am not the only one who has worked more without asking for additional compensation. I do not want to draw attention to myself and not have my contract renewed. I am easily replaceable or so I have been told.

I’m stressed out every day worrying about whether my contract will be renewed each semester and whether I can support my family. Sometimes it’s just too much to handle.

On numerous occasions I have had meetings with my Supervisors expressing the need for a full-time position as have many others who see the amount of work that needs to be done.  The college doesn’t listen and I am told “it is not in the budget”.

Sadly, I have realized that it may be time to move on from the job that I am so passionate about but the amount of stress I endure just from working as a full-timer on part-time pay has been weighing too heavily on myself and my family.

Many college employees are in the same position and it is heartbreaking for me to hear their stories and how they also struggle financially and most of all emotionally.

Do you have a story to share about your experiences as a College Support Part-time worker? We want to hear from you. Please send your story to collegeptbarg@opseu.org. Know that your identity will be kept strictly confidential.

Celebration as bargaining begins!

Support staff celebrated as bargaining of our first-ever collective agreement began last week. Part-time and Full-time staff joined in at St. Clair College’s main campus and Chatham campus where popcorn and cotton candy sweetened the festivities. Your bargaining team has three more dates for bargaining next week, on June 5, 6 and 7.

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Help your team! Get one more card signed.

If each of us gets even one more new card signed by a College Support Part-time member, our team is thousands stronger. Download the membership application form now, and get your colleagues signed up today!

Your bargaining team,

Ted Claeys, Local 124 at Lambton College, Chair
Duncan McFarlane, Local 416 at Algonquin College, Vice-chair
Jennifer Ayotte, Local 656 at Cambrian College
Christopher Millado, Local 557 at George Brown College
Connie Collins, Local 137 at St. Clair College
Janice Hagan, Local 561 at Seneca College, College Support Sector Chair

For more information, visit www.opseu.org 

Join our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CollegeSupportPT/

Follow us on Twitter: @CAATSupport_PT #PTchange

Please email your bargaining team at collegeptbarg@opseu.org if you have any questions or concerns. We are happy to answer you.

Approved for distribution by Warren (Smokey) Thomas,
President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union