Press Release

College Workers Day of Action to defend rights at campuses across Ontario

Publication Date

Friday, October 12, 2018 - 12:00pm

TORONTO – Front line college workers across Ontario are holding a Day of Action on Monday, October 15 in coordination with the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign, and to commemorate the one year anniversary of the historic College Faculty strike. Actions will take place at all college campuses despite attempts by numerous colleges to deny the right to hold union events “of a political nature” on campus.

What: OPSEU College Workers Day of Action
When: Monday, October 15, from 8am to 5pm (times vary by campus)
Where: All 24 public Ontario Colleges

“Equal pay for equal work is the law, and it needs to stay that way,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “That is not a political opinion, it is a fact. And OPSEU members have the right to say so.”

“We are defending the rights of workers as upheld in Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, including a $15 dollar minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, and sick leave for temporary and contract workers. If the colleges want to prohibit workers from speaking up about our rights, they have to know they have all of OPSEU to deal with,” said Thomas.

“I am deeply concerned that so many colleges are attempting to suppress Day of Action events on campus,” said OPSEU College Faculty Division Chair, RM Kennedy. “Academic freedom is now enshrined in our collective agreement, and protects post-secondary institutions as important sites for inquiry and debate on matters of public concern.”

On his first day in office, Doug Ford cancelled the College Task Force which was responsible for a joint system review. Now Ford is threatening to repeal the law that enforces workers’ rights including equal pay for equal work.

“Bill 148 has already begun to improve the lives of workers across the college system. You can’t trust college management to do the right thing: It takes the law and a union to hold employers to account,” said Thomas.

For more information: 
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President: 613-329-1931
RM Kennedy, OPSEU College Faculty Division Chair: 416-346-8382
Janice Hagan, OPSEU College Support Division Chair: 416-540-9642