Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

April 18, 2008 15:31 ET

OPSEU Slams McGuinty Government's Betrayal of College Workers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 18, 2008) - The McGuinty government betrayed more than 12,500 part-time and sessional college workers at a hearing yesterday at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union says.

Yesterday at the Labour Board, the Ministry of the Attorney General argued vociferously that OPSEU's application to represent part-time and sessional workers at 24 Ontario community colleges should not go to a certification vote.

"Yesterday the McGuinty government threw its full weight behind the colleges' position," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "While this government has repeatedly voiced its support for union rights for part-timers and sessionals, when it came down to the crunch all these workers got from their government was a stinging slap in the face."

The Labour Relations Board announced today that it would not order a certification vote of the affected workers.

Thomas said that if nothing else the government's intervention at the OLRB served to clarify the relationship between the government and the colleges.

"By its actions yesterday, the Ministry of the Attorney General made it clear that the community colleges and the government which funds them are one and the same entity," he said. "That means the Premier can instruct the colleges to immediately recognize OPSEU as the bargaining agent for part-time and sessional college workers. We are calling on him to do so.

"Close to 7,000 college workers have signed union cards with the understanding that they have the same right as anybody else to bargain to improve their wages and working conditions," Thomas said. "For the McGuinty government to trample on the dreams and aspirations of these hardworking Ontarians is shameful and disgusting."

The OPSEU president vowed to intensify the union's campaign to represent college part-timers in the days and weeks ahead.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)
    David Cox
    (416) 788-9197