TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2022 /CNW/ - Full-time support staff at Ontario's 24 public community colleges ratified a new three year contract today, which includes gains in health benefits and job security.
While the Ford government's Bill 124 unlawfully capped wage increases to one per cent for three years, preventing the union from negotiating wage increases commensurate with inflation, the bargaining team achieved improvements in other areas of their contract.
"Despite our bargaining being significantly and unfairly restricted by Bill 124, we have still made some substantial gains in job security, job competitions and benefits," said OPSEU/SEFPO College Support Full-Time Bargaining Team Chair Rasho Donchev. "We are especially pleased about the gains we've made to our health benefits – the most significant improvements to our health benefits in the past 15 years."
"I'm so proud of the bargaining team for the concrete improvements they've negotiated for full-time College Support members," said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. "The increased benefits will markedly improve members' health and well-being."
In an online vote held on September 28 and 29, OPSEU/SEFPO full-time College Support members voted 78.7% in favour of the new contract, which included a clause to reopen negotiations for wages if OPSEU/SEFPO's legal challenges to Bill 124 are successful.
"OPSEU/SEFPO will continue to fight tirelessly against Bill 124, to end the Ford government's unfair cap on wage increases, and to build our bargaining power together as a union," vowed Hornick.
Throughout the past year, full-time College Support members at every college attended union meetings and bargaining events, where they brought forth demands and showed visible support for the bargaining team while they were at the table with the employer.
"I'm so pleased with the support that members showed for the bargaining team," said Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer. "Their actions showed the employer that our members stood behind their demands at the table, and built solidarity and strength in our union."
A detailed breakdown of the changes to the collective agreement can be found here.
SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO)
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