The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has filed notice with the College Employer Council that more than 8,000 college support workers will walk off the job Sept. 1 unless a contract settlement is reached with management.
“The strike notice we filed with the council representing management is required under terms of the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act,” said Rod Bemister, chair of the bargaining team for the support workers. “The Act states we must give five days notice and we are doing so.”
The union, which represents administrative staff, IT specialists, maintenance workers and others at the province’s 24 community colleges, will be in a legal position to walk out at 12:01 a.m., Thursday Sept. 1 if talks between both sides fail to produce an agreement.
Bemister said little progress is being achieved at the bargaining table and questioned whether the slow pace was a deliberate tactic by management to provoke job action on Sept. 1. In the meantime, he urged students to contact their college presidents and demand that a deal be reached before the strike deadline.
“There must be a strong message from each college presidents to their negotiators that a deal must be reached before the strike deadline,” said Bemister.
The two sides are continuing talks today and have scheduled three days of negotiations beginning Aug. 29.
The main issues for the union include job security, benefits and wages.
Chair, OPSEU College Support Staff Bargaining Team
416-443-8888 ext 8777 office