Members of OPSEU’s College Support Division will have an opportunity to vote on a tentative extension agreement to the existing collective agreement with a number of positive changes – and no concessions.
Members of the division’s leadership met with the employer on July 26 and 27, where they received an offer for a four-year contract that would extend the current agreement until August 31, 2022.
On a conference call on Friday, July 28, the three members of the College Support Division leadership involved in the negotiations told their local presidents that they were unanimously recommending the deal as a means of providing financial security in the face of uncertain economic times.
Janice Hagan, Chair of the College Support Divisional Executive, described the wage increases in the deal as “a significant win in this economic context.”
“Not only does this deal provide 7.75 per cent in wage increases over four years, it also delivers the first of these increases six months before the expiry of the current contract,” said Hagan. “And it does all this while ensuring absolutely no concessions for our members.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the offer comes as the result of “hard work on the part of both parties.”
“I want to congratulate the division’s leadership for their work on achieving this deal,” Thomas said. “In uncertain times, this deal will provide four years of stability to OPSEU members in the College Support division.
“This deal also improves members’ ability to care for their families and loved ones, by including language that will provide members with guaranteed leave when family members are ill.”
Local presidents heard details of the offers (included below) from Janice Hagan, Chair of the College Support Divisional Executive; Naz Binck, Vice-Chair of the College Support Divisional Executive; and Richard Belleau, Chair of the Employee-Employer Relations Committee (EERC); and Pat Honsberger, OPSEU Negotiations Supervisor.
Bargaining information meetings to be held across the province
OPSEU members across Ontario will have an opportunity to ask members of the division leadership questions about the contract offer in bargaining information meetings to be held across the province as needed. These meetings will be held in August, with further details to be provided as they are available.
Members with questions about the agreement can contact Janice Hagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ratification vote details to come
Details of the ratification vote are being arranged and will be communicated shortly.
Details of the tentative extension agreement
- Extension. The current collective agreement would be extended by four years, and will remain in effect until August 31, 2022.
- General Wage Increase. Beginning in 2018, members shall receive across-the-board wage increases as follows:
March 1, 2018 1.5 % (Early, instead of Sept. 1, 2018)
September 1, 2019 1.0 %
March 1, 2020 1.0 %
September 1, 2020 1.0 %
March 1, 2021 1.0 %
September 1, 2021 1.0 %
March 1, 2022 1.25 %
There will be no changes to the 0.5% raise already negotiated for September, 2017, nor the 1% Lump Sum payment on December 1st, 2017.
- Better job security. Members’ jobs will be protected by a new letter in the collective agreement requiring colleges to notify the local union about any intent to contract out prior to a college entering into such an agreement.
- Paid family care days. New language in 12.2 to allow members to take up to five days off with pay per year, to care for immediate family members, including spouse, children and parents. The five days would be taken from your existing sick days.
- Religious leave. Leaves of absence for religious leave would be allowed without loss of regular salary, under a new 12.2.2.
- Catastrophic drug cost protection. This coverage will set a new maximum limit of $2,500 on the amount members will have to pay for their 15 per cent share of personal and family drug costs. This will protect members with significant drug costs, a growing issue, as 23 members last year paid as much as $6,000 for prescriptions.
- More maternity and parental leave options. If and when the government changes EI to allow members to stretch their EI benefits for a year of maternity and/or parental leave over18 months, the colleges will also allow members to stretch their “top-up” payments. The total “top-up” payment would not change.
- Benefit parity with faculty. A “Me Too” clause will ensure that College Support Division members receive any benefits improvements negotiated by the College Academic Division in the current round of bargaining.
- Housekeeping changes. Update all letters in the collective agreement and add a process to allow retiring arbitrators to be replaced through provincial committee discussions.