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OPSEU College Support/Soutien. College Support Full-Time.

College Support Part-time Workers Bargaining Bulletin #3: Bargaining has begun!

OPSEU College Support Part-time / SEFPO College soutien personnel a temps partiel
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Here’s how the first day played out

Your bargaining team has begun bargaining our first collective agreement for College Support Part-time workers. We were well prepared with your demands for fair treatment.

We sat down with the employer and handed them our proposal, which is based on the College Support Full-time collective agreement. It included key demands as determined by our demand set meeting.  We believe our document includes some great language, which will make the colleges a better workplace for part-time support staff. A good workplace means staff can do their best work, and provide the best possible learning environment for our students.

The employer handed us a one-page document entitled “Management Concepts for Discussion”. This document states seven goals of the employer’s bargaining team, which they say will guide their decision making process. Although this document includes some messages of concern, it also has positive goals that we can agree to, such as “cooperation and problem solving through open and respectful communication”.

We have further bargaining dates on June 5, 6 and 7. Your bargaining team will be sure to be in touch with you as the negotiations process continues.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas sends his solidarity to all of the College Support Part-time members: “Thanks to the team and to the 20,000 members for your solidarity as the negotiations begin. Today has been a step in the right direction. Know that you have the full support of your union. We are 155,000 strong, from every community in Ontario, and we have your back.”

New Video: Meet your bargaining team!

Watch our new bargaining team video to find out more about why we are committed to negotiating a fair agreement for all College Support Part-time members, and what we hope for with this round of bargaining: https://youtu.be/I_SUIkYEhJs

Ted Claeys’ story

My mother passed away a few years ago. I thought it was automatic that the college pays your wages when your parents die so that you can grieve, plan, and attend the funeral.

I spoke to my supervisor, who in turn went to their supervisor, and they said sorry no, we don’t do that. They made it sound like it is a matter of college policy that they don’t pay for anyone to be off when there is a death in the family. That may well be true: without a union, bereavement leave is left to up to the college. Full-time staff are entitled to a minimum of three days’ leave in their collective agreement. Often they actually get more, depending on whether they have to travel to a funeral. They even get one paid day if their aunt or uncle dies. Unfortunately the same rules don’t apply to part-time workers without a collective agreement.

I love my job at the college, and love the students. I believe that I should be treated the same as other workers in the College because I also contribute to the success of our students.

Member solidarity makes your bargaining team strong!

College Support Part-time workers do important work. We love our students and are committed to their success. Too many of us have personal experiences of what it means to be treated as less-than-equal in our workplaces. Just because we are part-time workers does not mean that we are less valuable workers.

We want to hear your stories.  We believe it’s important that the employer bargaining team also hears them and we plan on sharing them. Please identify yourself the way you feel comfortable. This can be a first name only, your initials, or perhaps a pseudonym. Send your story to   collegeptbarg@opseu.org. This is a confidential email address.

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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