North Bay – OPSEU Support staff at Nipissing University have successfully bargained equal pay for equal work for part-time and contract workers.
Full-time support staff ratified a new collective agreement on February 8, and part-time support staff voted to ratify on March 16. Their previous contracts expired last May.
Precarious workers made notable gains during bargaining. Contract workers and part-time workers will now get the same pay as full-time staff. They will also be entitled to equal base levels of benefits, including sick leave.
In addition, part-time and contract support staff will now have the right to compete for full-time positions before they are posted externally. Many precarious staff who were excluded from having a union are now OPSEU members.
Full-Time Support Staff Bargaining Team Chair, Rob Boulet, said he was encouraged by improved labour relations at Nipissing University. “Great things happen at the bargaining table when we can focus on fairness. We’ve broken down barriers that make Nipissing University a better place for workers and for students.”
OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas said OPSEU is raising the bar for precarious workers in post-secondary education. “Congratulations to these bargaining teams for the part they played in advancing equal pay for equal work. We are setting an example for what can and must be done to improve the lives and working conditions of all part-time and contract workers at Ontario universities.”
For more information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President: 613-329-1931
Rob Boulet, OPSEU University Sector Vice-Chair and bargaining team member: 705-825-1337
Lorie St. Amand, OPSEU Staff Representative: 705-471-9704