Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

September 19, 2011 15:53 ET

OFL Congratulates OPSEU on Reaching Tentative Agreement With Ontario's Community Colleges

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 19, 2011) - The Ontario Federation of Labour congratulates the members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) for reaching a tentative agreement with Ontario's 24 community colleges after nearly three weeks on strike. This news came after weeks of support from other unions and only 36 hours before the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress were set to hold simultaneous solidarity rallies at every community college campus to increase pressure on the employer to come back to the table with a decent offer.

"The OFL congratulates OPSEU members for securing an agreement this weekend. Ontario's college support workers have demonstrated an incredible and principled resolve," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "These workers have put their livelihoods on the line – not for themselves, but to ensure that future generations of employees will have good jobs with decent wages, benefits and job security."

The tentative agreement was reached late Sunday night, after an 18-day strike by more than 8,000 community college support staff across Ontario. Motivated by a desire to protect good jobs for the next generation of workers, OPSEU's college support workers walked the picket lines for the first time in 32 years and earned the support of Ontario's labour movement. The OPSEU bargaining team has reported that the union managed to secure key contract proposals it had brought forward and will recommend that members approve the tentative deal.

"The inspiring display of support for OPSEU from the community and other workers is a testament to the importance of the stance that these college workers had taken," said Ryan. "In workplaces across the public and private sector, employers are hell-bent on converting good, full-time jobs into precarious and temporary ones. Greedy employers and the Conservative politicians that back them have underestimated the public concern for good jobs. Unprecedented alliances have been formed between workers across the province and we are united with college workers in fighting for the next generation."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. OFL President Sid Ryan is the voice of Ontario's labour movement.

Visit www.opseucaatsupport.org/ for more information on the strike.

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