Striking Ontario college support staff to resume negotiations

Union says they have modified demands, colleges hopeful of an agreement
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/19/2011

The union representing Ontario’s 8,000 striking support staff will return to the bargaining table with the college management bargaining team. Negotiations could resume as early as Sept. 17, 2011.

UPDATE: Striking Ontario college support staff reach tentative agreement

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says it has “substantially modified” its demands in order to resume negotiations. No details have been made available.

"By modifying our demands we demonstrated our commitment to the bargaining process and the students to return to contract talks," says OPSEU bargaining team chair Rod Bemister. “This strike has gone on two weeks too long.”

Ontario’s 8,000 college support staff walked off the job at over 100 campuses on Sept. 1, 2011 after negotiations for a new contract failed. In July, OSPEU voted 77 per cent in favour of striking should an agreement not be reached.

The union is asking for a salary increase of three per cent in each year of the three-year contract. The College Employer Council (CEC) is offering a 4.8 per cent salary increase over the life of the contract.

The most recent offer tabled by the CEC contains the following wage adjustments:

  • a one-time lump sum payment equal to 1.5 per cent of annual salary in the first year
  • a salary increase of 1.5 per cent in the second year
  • a salary increase of 1.75 per cent in the third year

College negotiators say they are hoping the upcoming talks will be successful.

"Our goal has always been to reach a negotiated settlement,” says CEC bargaining team chair Gerry Barker. “We hope that OPSEU is prepared to do the same.”

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