Part-time college workers protest sealed certification vote

The results of a two-year-old vote to organize remain unknown
||Last Updated: 04/14/2011

Ontario part-time college support staff and instructors are still waiting to find out the results of a vote taken over two years ago to determine whether the group would join a union.

To demonstrate their disappointment, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) marched to the office of the College Employers Council (CEC) last week demanding that the votes be counted.

In 2009, the provincial government amended the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act to allow part-time academic and support staff the right to unionize and participate in collective bargaining. However, OPSEU says that the two-year-old ballot boxes haven’t been opened because of the colleges’ “obstructive tactics at the Ontario Labour Board”.

They also say that the McGuinty government is refusing to intervene with the matter at hand. On the other hand, the United Nation’s International Labour Organization has said the government should start a consultation with OPSEU to uphold the democratic right of workers to unionize.

About 100 members entered the CEC office and protested in the building’s atrium before being escorted out by police.

About 16,000 part-time college workers are currently working in Ontario.

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