(TORONTO) – Citing a refusal by management to respond to contract proposals put forward by the union, negotiators for college support workers have decided to break off bargaining.
“It’s become abundantly clear that negotiators for college management have no interest in negotiating a collective agreement,” said Rod Bemister, chair of the bargaining team for the Ontario Public Service Union that represents more than 8,000 support workers at 24 community colleges across the province.
“In this inhospitable climate created by management negotiators, we have no choice but to break off contract talks until such time when the other side is prepared to sit down with us and negotiate the issues that our members have identified as their priorities.”
Bemister said his bargaining team is prepared to return to contract talks “at any time and at any place” once management signals its intention to negotiate seriously.
The two sides tabled their proposals on June 7 and since then the two sides have met on more than a dozen occasions. Bemister said little progress has been made on the union’s proposals and that management insists on concessions and take-aways.
The current contract expires on Aug. 31. Colleges workers voted 77 per cent in favour of strike action if, in the view of their bargaining team, the two sides are not able to reach an agreement.
Key issues for college workers include job security, benefits and wages.
Chair CAAT-Support Bargaining Team