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OPSEU calls for Canadore management to be pulled, report to be shared

North Bay – OPSEU is urging Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano and Labour, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton to put Canadore College Chair Bob Nicholls, President and CEO George Burton, and Vice-President Shawn Chorney on leave, and bring in an interim administrator.

The union’s call comes as the college continues to refuse to share the report of the independent, third-party investigator who looked into allegations of harassment and bullying by senior managers.

“OPSEU met with over 60 members last night and heard shocking accounts of workplace harassment and psychological abuse,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Their stories are heart wrenching, and I salute their tremendous courage and determination to achieve justice.”

In light of Canadore’s refusal to publish the report, Thomas says his members have agreed to release their statements to OPSEU for a report to be presented to both ministers.

“I’ve asked the college to share the report with OPSEU so affected parties can work towards fixing the terrible working conditions at Canadore,” said Thomas. “I will continue to call for this fundamental act of justice. But if Canadore won’t do the right thing and push its senior leadership aside, then the government must step in.”

In addition to calling for the dismissal of Nicholls, Burton and Chorney, Thomas has asked for a statement from the government indicating there will be no reprisals for workers who speak up and speak out.

“Our colleges are places of learning and enlightenment,” said OPSEU Thomas. “But Canadore’s management has learned nothing from this crisis, and its statement on the investigation smacks of cover up.

“OPSEU’s first priority is to protecting its members by ensuring they work in a secure and healthy workplace,” he continued. “We’re also committed to an environment where students can feel safe. When Canadore’s management makes light of multiple allegations of a toxic workplace, it’s clear to me their priorities lie entirely elsewhere.

“We’re going to keep fighting until we see the report so we can bring some closure for our members and work with Canadore to prevent this from ever happening again.”

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