OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

OSSTF/FEESO - Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation

September 14, 2009 11:29 ET

OSSTF/FEESO: University of Ottawa and Support Staff Come to Terms on Very First Collective Agreement

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2009) - The University of Ottawa and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF-FEESO) have ratified the very first collective agreement governing working conditions for some 1,400 employees who are members of PSUO-SSUO-the bargaining unit for support staff at the University.

The University and PSUO-SSUO reached a tentative agreement on August 14, 2009, concluding a bargaining process started in January 2008. The bargaining unit ratified the proposed agreement on September 3, 2009, while the Board of Governors did the same on September 8, thus paving the way for a quick transition to the new collective agreement.

"This agreement is a major milestone in the history of support staff at the University of Ottawa," said PSUO-SSUO president Richard Hogan. "After waging a hard battle to win the right to unionize in 2007, we have now established a new climate founded on respect in our labour relations with the University."

PSUO-SSUO's chief negotiator, Andre Filion, said he was pleased with this first agreement. "We have preserved all our vested interests and made significant gains, including a new salary grid that will come into effect in May 2010. Term employees will also receive several new benefits."

OSSTF-FEESO president Ken Coran said: "This round of bargaining to achieve a first collective agreement has been long and challenging for both bargaining teams and has demonstrated the results of hard work and cooperation. This first collective agreement lays the foundation for a positive working relationship and provides a mechanism to effectively resolve any future issues identified by our members or the University."

The Associate Vice-President for Human Resources, Mrs. Louise Page-Valin, is pleased with the ratification of this agreement: "We anticipate that this agreement will ensure stability in labour relations between the University and its support staff while at the same time introducing new management procedures."

The collective agreement is for five years, starting retroactively on May 1, 2007 and ending on April 30, 2012.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, attendance counsellors, and many others in education.

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