College support staff ratify contract extension
Publication DateTuesday, August 29, 2017 - 7:30pm
Toronto – Support staff at Ontario’s 24 public colleges have ratified a four-year extension to their collective agreement, extending it to August 31, 2022.
In voting Tuesday, 75 per cent of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members backed the deal, which includes a 7.75 per cent wage increase over the four years plus improvements to drug coverage, leave provisions, and contracting-out language.
“I’m really excited about the contracting-out provisions in the new agreement,” said Janice Hagan, chair of the 10,000-strong College Support Division of OPSEU. “Right now, our contracting-out language saves people, but this new language is a step forward because it gives us an opportunity to save the work and save the jobs. That’s not only good for current staff, but for the next generation of workers as well.
“Stopping contracting out has been our number one bargaining demand for 20 years,” she said. “This is the first improvement to contracting-out language in all that time, and I want to thank members for supporting it.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas congratulated the College Support Division on its new contract and pledged the union’s support in helping members make the most of the new contracting-out language.
“Right now, we are already backing the ‘We Own It’ campaign, which I believe is the biggest anti-privatization campaign in Canadian history,” he said. “This new collective agreement opens a door that will allow us to pour all the energy of that campaign into stopping the privatization of college services.
“I’m looking forward to seeing our members mobilizing to keep their work in the public sector – where it belongs.”
For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931; Janice Hagan, 416-540-9642