OPSEU Local 241 - Mohawk College Support Staff


National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Today, we remember the 14 young women studying to become engineers at École Polytechnique in Montréal who were shot and killed by a gunman – targeted simply because they were women. Over 30 years ago, this tragedy initiated a dialogue that contributed to tougher gun control laws and improved emergency response. It also brought to light the gender-based violence that women still continue to face today.

According to a report by the World Health Organization, which looked at data from 161 countries between 2000 and 2018, one in three women are subjected to gender-based violence at least once in their lifetime. This figure remains mostly unchanged in the last decade.

Today, we honour the victims of the École Polytechnique mass shooting and reaffirm OPSEU/SEFPO’s commitment to fight for social improvements to prevent all forms of gender-based violence.

Read more

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2022 December 6|All Members|

A historic victory for workers and public services as the court strikes down Bill 124

OPSEU/SEFPO is calling it a win for hundreds of thousands of workers as the Ontario Superior Court declares the wage-stifling Bill 124 “void and of no effect.”

The decision comes following a court challenge launched by a coalition of unions and associations, including OPSEU/SEFPO, seeking to declare Bill 124’s wage cap unconstitutional. The court found the law violated workers’ right to freedom of association and substantially and unjustifiably interfered with collective bargaining rights.

“This is a historic victory and a further example of what can be accomplished when workers and unions stand together to fight to protect our Charter rights,” said JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President. “Now we’re calling on the Ford government to accept this decision instead of proceeding with an appeal so we can chart a pathway to a solution to the staffing crisis that is plaguing the public sector.”

Bill 124 caps public sector compensation at one per cent, at a time when inflation is at a forty-year high and when public health care is facing a staffing crisis due to Ford’s wage restrictions. 

OPSEU/SEFPO will pursue all avenues to re-open negotiations that were stifled by Bill 124.

Read the full press release.

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2022 November 29|All Members|

Rally to Protect Patient Safety in Operating Rooms

Ontario Nursing Association represented nurses are organizing in response to changes the provincial government is implementing to our health care. The plans are to replace one of the nursing roles in operating rooms with an unregulated health-care worker.

They are reaching out to unions in the Hamilton area to invite us to the rally to protect patient safety and ensure staffing is appropriate. They are concerned that replacing a nursing role with a health-care worker erodes the standard of patient care required in an operating room.

Save the date:

Wednesday, December 7, 3:30-6:00 pm  
Hamilton General Hospital
237 Barton Street East  

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2022 November 25|External Events, Political Action|

OPSEU/SEFPO education workers to walk out in solidarity with CUPE colleagues

A press release has been sent stating that OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 3 education workers working in boards of education will walk off the job this Friday in a monumental show of solidarity with their CUPE colleagues who are set to stage a province-wide protest against Stephen Lecce and the Ford government’s Bill 28.

OPSEU/SEFPO represents close to 8,000 members working in boards of education as educational assistants, child and youth workers, designated early childhood educators, autism support workers, deaf blind interveners, lunch monitors, early childhood educators, clerical workers, IT specialists, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and ESL, among others.

Bill 28, which is a legislative attack on workers’ constitutional right to fair and free collective bargaining, was introduced on October 31 after CUPE gave its five days’ notice for job action, with the possible start of a strike on Friday, November 4. Bill 28 preemptively prohibits these workers’ right to strike, imposes massive fines, imposes four-year long collective agreements, and invokes the notwithstanding clause to preclude any legal action against Ford’s unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt at strong-arming.

Bill 28 isn’t just an attack on education workers’ collective bargaining rights, it is an attack on all workers’ rights. And after hearing from hundreds of our education workers and their local leaders who want to support their CUPE colleagues, our response to this unprecedented legislative overstep is clear: OPSEU/SEFPO education workers will walk out in solidarity with their CUPE colleagues this Friday.

Read the full message from OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick and First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell that was sent to all OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 3 education workers last night

Text image: I stand with Education Workers. #39K is not enough. OPSEU logo

We stand with Education Workers

Why do we stand with education workers?

Both CUPE and OPSEU/SEFPO education workers are the lowest-paid staff in our schools. They earn an average of $39,000 per year, and the schools are so understaffed that it has created a dangerous and stressful environment for both students and staff.

Last week, OPSEU/SEFPO released a short video featuring education workers who have experienced daily violence in schools – their workplaces – because of severe under-staffing caused by low wages, unsafe working conditions, and under-funding by the provincial government. 

Watch the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUQCi_i6zro

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has decided to legislate a contract and no-strike legislation on CUPE education workers instead of bargaining with them. This attack on their bargaining rights is an attack on all union members, including OPSEU/SEFPO education workers who are also in bargaining right now. 

CUPE is standing up to them: “On Friday, regardless of what this government does, we will be engaging in a province-wide political protest where no CUPE education worker will be on the job until we get a real deal.” 

OPSEU/SEFPO stands with CUPE as they take this historic action against the Ford government. Take action with us!

Province-wide phone zap Wednesday night – Zoom event

At this emergency phone zap organized by Justice for Workers, we’ll call on our elected representatives to do what’s right and bargain a fair contract for education workers.

DATE:  Wednesday, November 2, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

RSVP:  Click here to sign up for the phone zap – a zoom link will be sent to you.

Province-wide political protest on Friday

This Friday, November 4, CUPE is planning “a province-wide political protest where no CUPE education worker will be on the job unless they get a real deal”. We encourage all OPSEU/SEFPO members to support any CUPE protest happening at schools near you. Stay tuned – we’ll provide more information as it comes available.

Send an email to Ford, Lecce and your MPP now!

Use the Ontario Federation of Labour’s online tool to send an email to your MPP, Stephen Lecce, and Doug Ford supporting education workers.

Link: https://ofl.ca/action/email-hands-off/ 

It is important to fight back against a government who would rather divert $365 million from desperately needed classroom funding to make small, one-time payments to parents for private tutors. That money should be invested in schools and programs – and the education workers who support students at school.

Read the full email from President JP Hornick and First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell sent to all OPSEU/SEFPO members on the evening of Monday, October 31, 2022.

image of text: I stand with Education Workers. #39KisNotEnough. OPSEU logo

Emergency General Membership Meeting

OPSEU Local 241 is hosting a short online Emergency General Membership Meeting for all Support Staff members on Wednesday, October 26, at noon.

We sincerely thank those that attended our GMM last week, however, we were a little bit shy of our quorum numbers, so could not vote to approve the budget. We have scheduled a quick lunch-time meeting so that we can get our next year’s budget passed.

As an extra incentive, we have many gift cards that we will be doing draws for, including one for $100!

Register for the GMM now.

Your attendance is important, as we need a certain number of members to proceed with the meeting. Please pass the message on to your co-workers, as both part-time and full-time staff are very strongly encouraged to attend.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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FT Collective Agreement has been ratified

Full-time support staff at Ontario’s 24 public community colleges ratified a new three-year contract September 29, which includes gains in health benefits and job security.

While the Ford government’s Bill 124 capped wage increases to one per cent for three years, preventing the union from negotiating wage increases commensurate with inflation, the bargaining team achieved improvements in other areas of their contract.

 “I’m so proud of the bargaining team for the concrete improvements they’ve negotiated for full-time College Support members,” said OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick. “The increased benefits will markedly improve members’ health and well-being.”

In an online vote held on September 28 and 29, OPSEU/SEFPO full-time College Support members voted 78.7% in favour of the new contract, which included a clause to reopen negotiations for wages if OPSEU/SEFPO’s legal challenges to Bill 124 are successful.

A detailed breakdown of the changes to the collective agreement can be found here

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2022 September 30|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

FT Collective Agreement Ratification Vote

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has opened the ratification vote on the Full-time Tentative Agreement. It will be an electronic vote, and members should have already received their voting PINs and information through their Mohawk College emails, directly from the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

This is a ratification vote being held pursuant to the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act, 2008, as amended.

A copy of the Memorandum of Settlement can be found at: https://opseu.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/2022-08-31-MOS-CAAT-S-FT-EN.pdf

This is a SECRET BALLOT vote. Your vote is strictly confidential.

The vote commenced on September 28, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. and closes on September 29, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).  You may vote any time during this period. A personal identification number (“PIN”) is required to vote.

If you are unable to vote using the PIN provided to you, or if you require assistance to vote, you may call the Ontario Labour Relations Board (“OLRB”) Help Desk during the hours of operation listed below.  If necessary, leave a detailed message with your full name, contact information, and OLRB case number and a Labour Relations Officer will respond to your message as soon as possible.

OLRB Help Desk Telephone: 
416-326-7479 (English and French)

OLRB Help Desk Hours of Operation:September 28, 2022 (2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and September 29, 2022 (11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.). All times listed are Eastern Time.

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2022 September 28|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

Tentative Agreement Ratification Vote

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has set the date for the ratification vote on the Full-time Tentative Agreement. The vote is set to start at noon on September 28 and will go to 5 pm September 29. It will be an electronic vote, and members will be getting voting PINs and information through their Mohawk College emails.

There have been some questions around the ratification vote, and we wanted to clarify what would happen if there is No vote.
The Colleges Collective Bargaining Act stipulates 3 conditions need to be met for the bargaining unit to go on strike: 

  1. There can’t be a Collective Agreement – This condition has been met.
  2. The Conciliator report has been issued with no board report – This condition has not been met.
  3. There has been a vote with clear language to authorise a strike on the ballot – This condition has not been met. The ratification vote will not have a clear question around strike, it will rather have a simple ‘I accept the offer’ and ‘I reject the offer’.

In other words, if there is a No vote, the bargaining team will have to go back to the table and try to address the issues the members feel were not addressed in the current tentative deal. If the Team feels necessary, they will request a conciliator and could ask for a strike vote.

We hope this clarifies the questions around this topic

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2022 September 19|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

National Day of Mourning

With the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday September 19 being a Federal holiday and a national day of mourning, a reminder that the Province of Ontario has stated they are not declaring the holiday. The College will remain open as usual.

2022 September 14|All Members|

About Local 241

OPSEU Local 241 proudly represents all Support Staff at Mohawk College.

Local Stewards and elected Officers are volunteers. We help our members navigate the unionized workplace and understand, exercise, and enforce our rights under the collective agreement.

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