OPSEU/SEFPO Local 241 - Mohawk College Support Staff


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|

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).


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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


  • 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 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.

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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.

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2022 September 1|Bargaining|

About Local 241

OPSEU/SEFPO 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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