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OPSEU applies to represent part-time college support staff


Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has just filed an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board to become the bargaining agent for thousands of part-time support staff in the province’s community colleges.

The union delivered its application, with thousands of signed union cards, to the Board today.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the largest single certification application in Canadian history,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of OPSEU. “This application covers 24 colleges and more than 100 campuses in every corner of Ontario.

“Since we  began signing union cards in September, our organizers have won the support of clerical staff, peer tutors, IT professionals, and workers in dozens of other jobs that make our colleges work,” he said. “We are honoured by the trust they have put in us.”

OPSEU already represents more than 8,300 full-time support staff at the colleges, but an even larger number of workers hold non-union part-time jobs. Full-time and part-time staff must be in separate bargaining units under the rules set out in the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act.

“OPSEU wrote the book, literally, when it comes to wages and working conditions for full-time college support staff,” said Thomas, “but part-time staff at our community colleges have endured inferior wages and working conditions for too long.

“Representation by OPSEU is the first step in righting a major historical wrong.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931