Striking Ontario college support staff reach tentative agreement

Two days of ‘intense bargaining’ sends 8,000 staff back to work
||Last Updated: 10/05/2011

Striking Ontario college support staff have reached a tentative agreement with the colleges. The deal ends an 18-day strike by more than 8,000 staff at 24 community colleges across the province.

UPDATE: Ontario college support staff ratify agreement

The agreement, which must still be ratified by college staff members, was reached Sept. 18, 2011 following two days of bargaining.

“I applaud the tentative deal reached tonight by the negotiating teams,” says Ontario Public Service Employee Union (OPSEU) president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “We said all along that a fair and just agreement was only possible when the two sides could sit across the bargaining table from each other and I’m pleased to report that was the case.”

Details of the agreement will not be available until after a ratification vote. A date for the vote has not been set.

Employees will return to work on Sept. 20, 2011.

“We are very pleased that we reached a negotiated settlement,” says chair of the colleges’ bargaining team, Gerry Barker. “We look forward to welcoming all of our valued employees back to the colleges where we can again work together for the success of our students.”

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

The most recent offer tabled by the CEC contained 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; and
  • a salary increase of 1.75 per cent in the third year.

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