Thank you to all of our members who joined us for our town hall on Wednesday, May 17th. Here are all the answers to the questions submitted by you!

What is being done to address the pay and benefit disparity between full-time and part-time staff?

This disparity between FT and PT workers is a huge issue. Even managers recognize they can’t attract and hire candidates for jobs that don’t pay enough.

Because Ontario has no labour law or legislation to make equal pay between PT and FT mandatory, the best way we have to close the gap is through collective bargaining. Part-time will negotiate their next contract in 2024, and wages will be a top issue. We hope a standardised pay table similar to the full-time agreement will be established. 

A brief history of equal pay for equal work: In 2017, the provincial government (at that time, the Liberal party had the majority seats) passed Bill 148, “Equal Pay for Equal Work.” The purpose was to ensure that employers paid casual, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers equal to full-time workers if the work, skill requirements, responsibilities, and working conditions were substantially the same. (source)

Following the June 2018 election, the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party became the majority. They terminated Equal Pay for Equal Work (through Bill 47). The colleges were preparing to implement EP4EW and immediately stopped when it was repealed. 

Any updates on PT bargaining? What is being negotiated for the new part-time support contract, and how do we bring forward our concerns? 

The part-time bargaining committee is preparing for demand set ahead of negotiating the next part-time collective agreement in 2024. 

Demand set is when each local meets with its members and votes on their highest priority bargaining concerns. Their top concerns are given to the bargaining committee, which brings them to the table against the employer. 

Activities are expected to begin in the summer and into the fall. Watch your emails for important part-time member meetings to come.

Any Bill 124 updates? Will there be new negotiations soon?

The previous round of bargaining for FT and PT support included a Letter of Understanding regarding Bill 124. The Union and College bargaining teams will meet with a mediator to engage in discussions. This is a non-binding process right now. We’ll share updates through our mailing list as we get them.

Have we ever considered a 40-hour work week instead of 35?

Your position and your manager determine hours of work. Some positions are 37.5 or 40-hour jobs. 

Is there a minimum number of hours for a shift for PT members?

The PT collective agreement and the employment standards act do not mandate minimum hours. If hours in your area aren’t distributed equitably, and management isn’t responsive, filing a grievance will force them to look at the issue.

Source: Hours of work in Ontario – Dutton Law

When will the new full-time collective agreement be available?

Answer: Distribution is to be determined, but we expect it sometime this summer. Changes are summarised online, and some are now in effect.

Where can we find the most recent collective agreement or get a hard copy

The most up-to-date collective agreements and additional info are always available on our website.

We have a small number of the current PT agreement hard copies and can send you one through interoffice mail. We do not have hard copies of the new FT agreement because it’s in the final stages of update and publication. 

How does striking work? Why is it done, and how does a union decide to strike or not? 

A strike is when workers walk off the job and take their labour away from the employer.

Recent examples:

  • Public Service Alliance of Canada, representing 150k federal treasury and Revenue Canada workers, went on strike from April 19 to May 1, 2023 (8 working days). (Globe & Mail Article)
  • CUPE Ontario Education Workers (support staff) representing 55,000 workers voted overwhelmingly to strike, even when the provincial government preemptively passed a bill to make their strike illegal. The provincial government resumed negotiations to avert the strike.
  • The union will vote on a strike mandate if the employer is not negotiating in good faith.
  • The members must vote to approve strike action. Voting in favour of a strike mandate means the members support their bargaining team’s demands. If the vote passes, the union enters a legal strike position and the employer is notified.
  • Voting in favour of a strike does not necessarily mean a strike will happen. When the employer sees that workers are ready and willing to walk off the job, the threat can be enough to get them back at the bargaining table. 
  • If no tentative deal is reached in time, the strike begins. 

How do we go about requesting a pay grade change?

For full-time members, pay rates are determined by your Position Description Form (PDF). Please check out our PDF resource online.

For part-time members, there is no standardized job description or classification system in your collective agreement. Start by asking your manager to review your Job Fact Sheet with you.

What if there’s no steward in my area? How do I find out who my steward is?

Check our Contact page and contact us if you want to learn more about becoming a steward!

Can the Union send welcome package emails to all new employees to ensure more people sign up?

We’re working through a new employee/member orientation, hoping to launch sometime this fall. We are working with HR to get more detailed information on new employees as they join, especially in the part-time unit.