Support staff and Ontario colleges strike deal

New agreement includes 7.75% raise over 4 years

Support staff at Ontario’s colleges have accepted a new agreement which will last until August 31, 2022.

The new agreement, affecting around 10,000 support staff at Ontario’s 24 colleges, has a 7.75 per cent pay increase over its four year term. 

According to a statement from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the union representing support staff, 75 per cent of its members supported the deal in the August 29 vote.

Janice Hagan, the chair of OPSEU’s college support division, said it’s a good deal and allows more options for the union to prevent jobs from being privatized.

“The agreement gives us an opportunity to try and meet with management and find other solutions to privatization, which is definitely a new approach for us,” she said. “Before that we were really just protecting survivors.” 

A clause in the new agreement states that the college will inform the union of its intent to create a new job, as well its rationale for the position. As per the new deal, the union can approach the college about the new position prior to it beginning. 

The old agreement between support staff and Ontario colleges was set to expire on August 31, 2018. 

OPSEU is also engaged in an effort to unionize part-time support workers at Ontario’s colleges. While a vote was taken on certification in June of 2016, the ballots remain uncounted.

The College Employers Council, who is negotiating on the college’s behalf did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

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Support staff and Ontario colleges strike deal