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OPSEU/SEFPO responds to College Employer Council

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Dear CAAT-A & CAAT-S PT Members,

OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas sent the following letter today to Graham Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer of the College Employer Council (CEC) in response to the CEC’s recent news release about a contract extension offer letter.

As you might have heard, the CEC recently sent an offer letter to President Thomas to explore a two-year extension agreement for the CAAT-A and CAAT-S PT Collective Agreements that would see one per cent wage increases each year with a six-month early signing.

“We’re committed to working with our Bargaining Teams to find the best bargaining outcome for our members,” said Thomas. “But it’s crucial that our response to the College Employer Council’s offer is a coordinated and well-contemplated effort, respectful of and in keeping with, OPSEU/SEFPO’s policy and constitution.

“Our members come first,” said Thomas. “We must always respect their wishes, as expressed through their elected leadership.”

To read the CEC’s news release, click here.

OPSEU/SEFPO’s response letter:

February 23, 2021

Graham Lloyd
Chief Executive Officer
College Employer Council

Re. Extension of Colleges’ Collective Agreements

Dear Graham,

I am writing in response to today’s news release from the CEC concerning the proposed two-year extension offer for OPSEU/SEFPO members working in Ontario’s colleges. I think it’s fair to say that such a release was extremely premature.

I understand that you have already received correspondence from the Chairs of OPSEU/SEFPO’s CAAT-A and CAAT-S PT Bargaining Teams regarding the offer. While we appreciate the confusion this has caused, I must kindly remind you that I am the one who holds the bargaining certificate for OPSEU/SEFPO.

The CEC’s offer letter was addressed to me, as President of this union and I have yet to respond to that inquiry.

To be clear, my office received an offer letter from the CEC on February 16, 2021.The offer would see the Collective Agreements for College Faculty and Part-Time Support staff extended by two years, with a one per cent wage increase each of those years and a six-month early signing. As I understand it, the intent is to improve employment stability; with no concessions to the existing Collective Agreement and no job losses. If I’ve misread the intent, please let me know.

I am currently in the process of convening a meeting with OPSEU/SEFPO leadership to review and consider your offer. You can expect a fulsome response once I’ve had the necessary conversations with our members and union leadership.

I believe we can agree that in these challenging times stability for our students and staff is top of mind and I wish to thank you for your offer. As President, I take direction from our members and will work cooperatively with them and their elected Divisional leadership to give your offer the consideration it deserves.

Sincerely,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
President, OPSEU/SEFPO