OPSEU Local 241 - Mohawk College Support Staff

Home2022-09-30T16:01:02-05:00

A tentative 3-year collective agreement has been negotiated

OPSEU/SEFPO Full-Time Support Staff at Ontario’s 24 public colleges have successfully negotiated a tentative 3-year collective agreement with the College Employer Council.

We will be holding two town hall meetings Tuesday, September 20, to answer any questions that you may have. The Town Hall at 1:00 pm will be a hybrid session, running in-person at the Fennel Campus, room EA015, and via Zoom concurrently. The 6:00 pm session will be online only.

Register for the 1:00 pm session
Register for the 6:00 pm session

You must register with a non-Mohawk email address.

The detailed breakdown is as follows:

Union/Employer Relations

  • Job Competitions/Internal Hiring
    • A major shift to our job competition language is that Appendix D and Regular Part-Time employees will now be considered internal applicants. This represents an important gain in addressing inequities in the colleges’ hiring practices.
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion/Indigenization
    • We prioritized the introduction of language in the collective agreement to demonstrate meaningful commitments around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as well as Indigenization. Although what we would have preferred stronger language, we have created space for open dialogue about existing barriers faced by equity-deserving groups at the local level through discussions at the Union College/Campus Committees (UCC).
    • A reporting mechanism has also been introduced, which we anticipate will provide meaningful information back to the Employee Employer Relations Committee (EERC). 
  • Gender-Neutral Language
    • Building on the work started at the EERC, this collective agreement will reflect a switch to gender-neutral language.
  • Workload and Overtime
    • Locals will now have the ability to discuss both workload and overtime issues at the UCC level.  
  • Paybands
    • The Colleges have agreed to exploring options for expanding the paybands in the Job Evaluation Manual through discussions at the Joint Classification Committee (JCC).

 Bereavement

  • Expansion of Bereavement Leave
    • We have expanded the bereavement leave benefit by adding the employee’s niece(s) or nephew(s) to the list of family members for whom members can apply for leave. Given the switch to gender-neutral language in the collective agreement, the term used to reflect this additional benefit will be “the child of an employee’s sibling.”

 Job Postings

  • Online Job Postings
    • The new agreement allows the colleges to post job vacancies exclusively in an online format. In addition, the colleges will now be permitted to post both internally and externally at same time, however, we were able to significantly strengthen the consideration language for internal applicants. 
    • For job reversals and situations where a position becomes vacant again within 6 months, there will no longer be a need for the colleges to re-post the job vacancy, however, should the college choose not to re-post and to reconsider the initial list, internal applicants who were interviewed will be considered first. 

  Job Security

  • Benefits During the Layoff Notice Period
    • When a full time member is laid off they are entitled to 90 days notice. The new language ensures that members are entitled to benefits during the layoff notice period.
    • We have also secured a commitment to establish a shared definition of ‘familiarization period’ through a referral to the EERC.

 Initiatives and Opportunities (I/O)

  • Incorporating I/O Positions
    • Initiatives and Opportunities (I/O) positions were negotiated in 2008 allowing colleges to create temporary positions to enable new initiatives. Since 2008, these positions were in the Collective Agreement as a letter of understanding. Letters of understanding need to be renewed each round of bargaining. This round of bargaining the I/O language was moved from the Letters of Understanding to Appendix K. This means that the I/O will not need to be renewed each round of bargaining.
  • I/O Language
    • Much of the language from the letter of understanding remains the same. I/Os are limited to 24 months in length. Members who take I/O positions can return to their regular positions when the position ends. The main difference is that when the college knows before the start of the position that it could be longer than 24 months, with the agreement of the local, the college can create a position that is longer than 24 months.

Benefits

  • Paramedical Benefits
    • 90 days after ratification, our plan will now cover up to a combined maximum of $3000.00 per person in a Calendar Year at 85% for all eligible expenses. Effective September 1, 2024 paramedical services will be increased to cover up to 90% of the eligible expense. 
  • Mental Health Benefits
    • A new Mental Health Service Benefit will be introduced on September 1, 2023. This will be separate and in addition to other paramedical services, up to a maximum of $1750.00 per person per year covered at 90% of eligible expense. In addition to the existing practitioners, we have also added family and marriage therapists as service providers under this plan.
  • Medical Cannabis
    • 90 days after ratification, Medical Cannabis will be introduced to our extended health insurance plan to cover up to $4000 per calendar year at 85%. The medical cannabis must be prescribed by a licensed physician and must be pre-approved by Sunlife. In year 3, as of September 1, 2024, the extended health insurance plan will cover up to $5000.00 per calendar year at 85%.
  • Dental Benefits
    • 90 days after ratification, our dental plan will cover dental implants and dental appliances at 50% to a maximum $2500.00 per person per plan year.

 Wages

  • Wage Increases
    • This contract was negotiated under the conditions imposed by the provincial government as set out in Bill 124. Bill 124 caps compensation increases at 1% per year for all public sector and broader public sector workers. We will receive the full 1% Wage increase year over year according to the following schedule;
      • September 1, 2022 – 1%
      • September 1, 2023 – 1%
      • September 1, 2024 – 1%
  • Challenges to Bill 124
    • OPSEU/SEFPO is challenging Bill 124 through all political and legal means available. OPSEU/SEFPO has applied for an exception to Bill 124 for our members. In case we are successful in our challenges or applications, a clause to reopen negotiations for wages was also negotiated by the bargaining team.

Health and Safety

  • Safety Equipment
    • In addition to the existing language assuring that colleges will provide necessary footwear and eye protection, colleges will also now provide additional safety equipment, as required by legislation for a member to perform their duties, at no cost to the member.
    • Any questions regarding the eligibility it will be resolved by the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) as constituted under the Occupational Health and Safety Act

 Arbitrators

  • Additions to the list of arbitrators
    • The bargaining team was focused on creating more diversity among our Arbitrators in order to more accurately reflect our membership. We have agreed to add Jasbir Parmar, Johanne Cavé (bilingual) and André Durette (bilingual) to the list of Arbitrators.
    • The list of Mediators/Arbitrators under Article 18.4.2 has been updated to include Jasbir Parmar. Other Mediators/Arbitrators that were previously agreed to at the EERC are also being included. They are Daniel Randazzo, Sheri Price and Matthew Wilson.
    • The list of Arbitrators for expedited arbitrations under Article 18.5.3.1 has been updated to include Johanne Cavé (bilingual), Daniel Randazzo and André Durette (bilingual). The list also includes Eli Gedalof who was previously added by the JCC. All of the Arbitrators that hear expedited arbitrations must undergo jointly delivered training by the JCC on the job evaluation system and existing Arbitrators undergo reorientation to the job evaluation system every 2 years.

Remittance of Dues

  • Securing Members’ Private Information
    • Previously colleges were required to provide OPSEU/SEFPO with members SIN numbers. Colleges are no longer required to provide SIN numbers and will now use a unique identifier for each member. This change is to assist in securing members’ private information and limiting possible exposure of confidential information. 

 Union Negotiating Committee

  • Increased Time for Bargaining Team Members
    • Bargaining Team members will now have an additional 5 days of employer-paid time-off for collective agreement negotiations. This is an increase from 10 days to 15 days.

Decorative. Bargaining for Success logo
2022 September 9|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

College Employer Council and OPSEU/SEFPO negotiate an agreement for Full-Time College Support Staff

The College Employer Council (CEC) and OPSEU/SEFPO CAAT-Full-Time Support Staff have reached a tentative agreement for a new three-year collective agreement, which is subject to ratification by their respective principals.

This tentative agreement recognizes the important work that Full-Time Support staff provide to colleges, students, and the Ontario post-secondary education system more generally. They are an integral part of the College sector, and colleges value the contributions they continue to make to the development of the higher education system.

Both parties worked hard and engaged in productive dialogue. The negotiations were characterized by respectful and open dialogue, compromise and cooperation. The deal is a fair and reasonable one. The College sector is stronger because of this ongoing positive working relationship.

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until OPSEU/SEFPO’s Full-Time Support Staff members review and ratify it. The date of the ratification vote will be announced shortly.

In the meantime, the current collective agreement that expired on August 31, 2022, will continue to be in effect.

Decorative. Bargaining for Success logo
2022 September 1|Bargaining|

College Support – Public Communications Blackout

OPSEU/SEFPO College Full-time support staff and CEC College Management continue to bargain.

The parties have been meeting since June and will meet every day this week. Until a deal is reached, the parties will be focused on negotiations and have agreed to stop public communications. Details will become available once an agreement is settled.

The current full-time support staff collective agreement expires on August 31, 2022.

2022 August 29|Bargaining|

Fill out your OPSEU membership form!

A reminder: please fill out your OPSEU membership form online, if you have not already done so. All Support Staff are covered by the collective agreement, but OPSEU membership is not automatic. There is no cost to become a member, and you will receive access to the member portal and receive your membership card in the mail. Even if you do not wish to partake in union activities, signing your card is important. It makes you eligible for strike pay in the event of a labour interruption or strike.

Get started

decorative: OPSEU logo
2022 August 20|All Members|

Membership Development Trainee (MDT) Program

The MDT (Membership Development Trainee) program was created to provide opportunities for OPSEU/SEFPO members from all sectors to experience what working with OPSEU/SEFPO would be like. It is designed to develop a pool of qualified and experienced applicants for a variety of staff vacancies that come up from time to time at OPSEU/SEFPO.

Any OPSEU/SEFPO member in good standing who will like to develop their skills may apply for one of the MDT positions. You will develop your knowledge and skills of the trade union movement in a variety of union-related professions at OPSEU/SEFPO.

All MDTs are expected to start September 19, 2022 and the program will continue for 12 weeks until December 9, 2022.

If you are selected, OPSEU/SEFPO will contact your employer and seek a leave of absence for you. Applicants need to ensure that they are available for the entire planned time for the training.

Learn more and apply at: https://opseu.org/information/tools-and-resources/2022-membership-development-trainee-mdt-program/168985/

2022 August 19|All Members, Education|

Third week bargaining update

Last week the third session of contract bargaining with the College Employer Council was held. So far, the bargaining team has met with college employer representatives nine times. We have a possible 10 more days of talks available this month before our collective agreement expires on August 31.

Currently, talks are progressing and there has been continuous movement at the table. There are still outstanding issues that the team sees as concessions, and they’re working to remove those concessions and make gains elsewhere. 

Given what was achieved last week, they expect to move to monetary proposals at the next round of bargaining from August 22-26. They are committed to negotiating a fair contract that can be brought back to the membership to ratify.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with the bargaining team at caatsftbargaining@opseu.org.

College support staff logo with the text #Support4Success
2022 August 18|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

Enjoy a lunch for Support Staff provided by OPSEU 241 August 17!

Drop in with your co-workers to ask us about bargaining, the union, or just to say hello and chat. Full-time bargaining mobilizer Carla Tillapaugh will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have.

Join us in The Cellar on Fennell campus from 12-2, Wednesday, August 17. If you can’t make it to Fennell, a boxed lunch will also be provided on IAHS and SC campuses for those that sign up.

Registration is needed, so we can gauge the numbers for catering. Please sign up at: https://forms.gle/LV4z5J5njb73xuPJ7

We hope to see you there!

2022 August 5|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

Show your support August 10

The next Blue Shirt Day is August 10. Show your support by wearing blue that day!  

Let the colleges hear your voice. Let’s unify for dignity, fairness and respect. Your bargaining team is asking support staff to wear blue on August 10 to tell the colleges you want a fair contract.

Take a photo of you and/or your co-workers wearing blue over your lunch break, in person or on Teams or Zoom, and send it in to treasurer@opseu241.ca.

Second week bargaining update

The College Support Full-Time bargaining team met with the employer on July 19, 20 and 21. It was our second week at the bargaining table. The union and the employer clarified a number of proposals from each side and provided context and reasoning.

We emphasized the importance of our demands and encouraged the employer to provide us with meaningful responses. Our members sent us to the table with these demands and the employer hasn’t addressed them yet. We made it clear to the employer that we are here to bargain and are expecting significant talks to happen at our next set of dates.

Although we are applying for an exemption to Bill 124 (which caps our wages to 1% per year for three years despite soaring inflation), there are also a number of non-monetary demands that we have tabled, including the following:

Fairness: Job competitions and job security

We have tabled the demand to give part-time and Appendix D employees access to full-time job competitions, and to have a system of equating job experience with levels of education. This will ensure that all members will have fair access to job competitions, and ensure that members with high levels of experience aren’t denied positions due to unnecessarily strict educational qualifications.

We’ve tabled a proposal to give members on probation access to vacancies when lay-off processes take place. We have also tabled language to eliminate final displacement; this will ensure better job security.

Respect: Equity provisions for Indigenous members

After thorough consultations with Indigenous leaders and deep reflection, we created and tabled our proposals to start addressing some of the inherent barriers for Indigenous CAAT-S members. We will continue to reflect and seek guidance to ensure inequities are addressed and barriers removed.

The bargaining team has sent a strong message that the employer cannot ignore: Colleges must ensure that Indigenous employees have welcoming and inclusive workplaces that respect traditional ways and culture.

Dignity: Health and safety provisions and vacation time

We tabled the demand that all safety devices required by support staff be provided at no cost to the employee. Support staff typically spend more time in labs and other areas of the workplace, and require safety devices more often than any other working group.

We’ve also tabled the demand that we align the vacation calendar with the benefits calendar (January 1 to December 31), and to realign the date to request vacation to November 1. Currently, the vacation year starts on July 1, which means vacation entitlement gets reset in the summer when members typically need vacation days the most.

2022 August 2|Bargaining, Full-Time Members|

Mobilizer Meet & Greet – Tuesday, July 26

Join us for coffee at your campus with our full-time bargaining mobilizer Carla Tillapaugh on Tuesday, July 26!

Stop by to ask us about the union, bargaining, or just to say hello and chat.

  • Stoney Creek room A103, 10:00 am to 11:00 am
  • IAHS room 201, noon to 1:00 pm
  • Fennell room i131, 2:00pm to 4:00 pm

Share this message with your fellow support staff. We hope to see you there!

2022 July 21|All Members, Bargaining, Full-Time 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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