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Outsourcing of college counselling services a betrayal: Thomas

OPSEU College Faculty - collegefaculty.org

Ottawa – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says the Ford falsehoods continue to pile up with word that counselling services at an Ontario college are being outsourced.

Management at La Cité in Ottawa recently notified OPSEU that the entire Counselling Resource Centre at the college will be outsourced.

Thomas says the layoffs are not only of concern to the staff and students at La Cité, but he’s worried the other colleges are poised to follow suit.

“Students and staff at La Cité are the latest Ontarians who have been lied to,” said Thomas. “Doug Ford promised in the election that not one public sector employee would lose their job, and he’s cooked up this betrayal with management at La Cité.”

Thomas notes there is a lot of stress in higher education, and many students with mental health concerns depend on the counselling.

“This is an attack on francophone communities and services,” Thomas said.  “La Cité management should give their heads a shake and rethink this.”

La Cité also informed OPSEU that it would be handing the counselling service over to a group called Centre Psychosocial. The new provider is to deliver the counselling services for the college as of this month.

The counsellors were given layoff notices last month. Local grievances on wrongful layoff and a Labour Board application will be filed with respect to this contracting-out of counselling services.

Given Ford’s election promise, Thomas says one layoff is one layoff too many.

“La Cité didn’t consult with anyone on this decision. Instead, management stabbed its employees in the back,” said Thomas.

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