OCASI workers in Toronto join Unifor

Precarious employment, low pay, inconsistent hiring, main issues: union
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/18/2019
Labour relations
OCASI is a registered charity based in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood that acts as an umbrella organization for more than 200 agencies serving immigrants and refugees. Google Street View

Unifor, Local 87-M welcomed 36 new members after the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI) in Toronto voted to join Unifor on Sept. 12.

More than 80 per cent of staff voted to unionize their workplace. They now join Unifor, Local 87-M, a knowledge and media workers local headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), says the union.

The newly unionized OCASI members are tackling issues such as precarious employment, low pay and inconsistent hiring practices, says Unifor.

“Workers in the not-for-profit sector face many of the same challenges as many non-union media workers, and we are thrilled to have these hard-working folks join our local,” said Paul Morse, Unifor 87-M president, who will help the new members bargain their first collective agreement.

The OCASI unit is the second not-for-profit group to join Local 87-M this year after about 40 teachers and staff in administration, IT, fundraising, custodian services and extended care at the Mabin School — a not-for-profit alternative private school in Toronto’s Annex area — formed a bargaining unit this summer, says the union.

OCASI is a registered charity based in Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood that acts as an umbrella organization for more than 200 agencies serving immigrants and refugees. Staff are involved in work from research and policy to advocacy and lobbying, as well as providing a variety of free online learning resources, says Unifor.

Unifor, Local 87-M is a composite Local of about 1,800 knowledge and media workers across southern Ontario.

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