Contributed by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
After a long and difficult round of negotiations, your bargaining team has achieved a tentative agreement for college support part-time workers. This historic moment is a game-changer for all of us, and everyone who follows in our footsteps at Ontario Colleges.
We have all dreamed of the day when we will have greater stability and fairness in our workplaces. Your bargaining team believes this tentative deal will help us defend and enforce our members’ rights on campuses across the province.
From job postings to seniority language, scheduling, and job security, our lives will become substantially better. And if the collective agreement is broken, we can grieve, with the knowledge that our union will back us up.
This tentative agreement was made possible by decades of dedication and hard work by hundreds of activists. We recognize that we stood on their shoulders as we negotiated this contract, and offer our thanks to each and every one of you who played a part in this long process.
Our tentative agreement contains lots of good things we have never had before. This contract does not include everything we wanted, however we believe it is a strong foundation agreement. More benefits will come in the next round of bargaining, and we can all work together to build on what we have won.
Thank you for your support of the bargaining team. This achievement belongs to all of us. It is a testament to our commitment to a better future, for us, our students, our families, and workers to come.
Keep checking the OPSEU website for details of upcoming local meetings where more information about the tentative collective agreement will be provided.
You will no longer have a new contract for each semester: your collective agreement will be the only contract you need.
Our tentative collective agreement includes a lot of language that replicates, or is comparable to, the great things that were negotiated over the past 40 years for college support full-time employees. The following “top ten highlights” outline the important achievements we reached at the bargaining table.
Wages: There will be a 1.5 percent wage increase retroactive to January 2, 2019, and another 1.5 percent wage increase effective January 31, 2020. Shift premiums will increase by 75 cents per hour after 5 p.m. and by one dollar per hour for all hours after midnight.
Job postings: All regular part-time jobs will be posted. Members of the bargaining unit will be considered based on qualifications, experience and seniority.
Seniority: You will have seniority calculated from your first date of hire.
Job Security: Any reduction in your hours will invoke the collective agreement language on job security, including layoff provisions if your job is eliminated.
Health and Safety: Contract language specifies eye wear, foot wear, and clothing allowances, and entitlement to ergonomic work stations.
Hours of Work: Schedules will be provided for regular part-time employees when you are hired. You will receive at least two weeks’ advance notice of any changes.
Union Protections: Through the grievance process, you will have a voice and protection, and a procedure to address any contravention of your collective agreement. An Employer/Employee Relations Committee will address issues affecting all support staff in all 24 colleges. There will be time off provided for seven members to bargain future collective agreements, and also for stewards to address members’ concerns and attend meetings in the workplace.
Leaves of Absence: You will be eligible for bereavement leave, parental leave, jury and citizenship leave.
Education: Members will have access to developmental leave, tuition at $20 for regular part-time employees and reimbursement of tuition with prior approval.
Bullying and harassment: There is language protecting members from bullying and harassment in the workplace as well as sexual harassment.
Sign up for our new pension plan! You are now eligible to join a new, very affordable pension plan that will provide a secure, stable pension for our members. OPSEU and the colleges have been working for some time on a pension plan that meets the needs of part-time college workers, and we are pleased to announce that this new plan, DBplus, provided by the CAAT Pension Plan, has now been created. All part-time college support staff are eligible to join the plan as soon as we are hired by a college. This pension plan has defined benefits and a fixed contribution rate of nine percent that is matched by your employer. As part-time support staff, when you opt in and join the DBplus plan you will receive benefits of similar value for your contribution dollars to what you would get if you were a full-time College Support staff member under their pension plan. This new plan focuses on maximizing lifetime pensions. All earnings are pensionable, it manages breaks-in-service, has inflation protection, and includes survivor benefits.