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La Cité collégiale president continues to intimidate staff, organizers

OPSEU College Faculty - collegefaculty.org

Ottawa – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is raising serious concerns about ongoing management harassment of part-time faculty and union organizers at La Cité collégiale in Ottawa.

The college is sending uniformed security officers to follow OPSEU organizers and listen in on their conversations in what the union is calling “a campaign of intimidation.” Yesterday, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas sent an open letter to Lise Bourgeois, president of La Cité, in which he requests that she cease her unethical and illegal efforts to prevent part-time faculty at the college from signing union cards.

In March of this year, Thomas held a press conference at La Cité to highlight intimidation at the college, using as an example an organizer who had twice been evicted from college property.

The OPSEU President said that Ms. Bourgeois was well aware of employees’ right to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “She knows that OPSEU has every right under the law of the land to conduct organizing efforts in appropriate areas of the campus: outside the classrooms, in the halls, and in the cafeteria.

“By pursuing a campaign of intimidation and pressure tactics, Ms. Bourgeois is not only attempting to deny employees their Charter rights; she is also jeopardizing the college’s status as a top employer in the National Capital Region.

“I respectfully insist that she immediately halt her campaign to prevent employees from exercising their right to make a free choice on whether to join a union. She is only tarnishing the image of the college and setting a bad example for students at the college.”

For more information: Timothy Humphries, A/Bilingual Communications Officer, OPSEU, 416-443-8888, ext. 8775