THUNDER BAY – Picket lines are up at Confederation College in Thunder Bay as workers have walked off the job. College President Jim Madder expressed disappointment this morning that a negotiated settlement could not be reached with support staff workers.
“Programs and services at Confederation College will continue to operate and we will welcome new and returning students at each of our 9 campuses”, shared Madder.
The College’s Bargaining team, in a statement say, “Ontario colleges are disappointed that the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has chosen to reject a good offer and attempt to disrupt the school year for 500,000 college students with an unnecessary strike”.
“The colleges have provided a good offer that increases the average salary for support staff to more than $59,000 with no concessions. We had hoped to reach a settlement but, unfortunately, the union is striking over wage and benefit demands that the colleges simply cannot afford,” said Mr. Gerry Barker, chair of the colleges’ bargaining team.
“Our team has been clear since bargaining began that we wanted to reach a negotiated settlement that was reasonable to our employees and affordable to the colleges,” said Mr. Barker. “The OPSEU strike is unnecessary and is unfair to our students. OPSEU should focus on what is best for students and reconsider the colleges’ offer.”
- All 24 colleges will be operational with classes running.
- Colleges are putting in place contingency plans to manage through the strike.
OPSEU Rejects Salary Offer
- The union turned down a good contract offer that includes a 4.8 per cent salary increase over three years with no concessions:
- Year One – an annual salary increase of 1.5%
- Year Two – an annual salary increase of 1.5%
- Year Three – an annual salary increase of 1.75%
- The offer will raise the average annual support staff salary by $2,718 to just over $59,000 after three years.
- Affirming the Colleges’ Position and Record
No concessions were tabled.
No college bargaining position would create a two-tier employment structure
Ontario colleges have increased the number of full-time support staff employees in the past two years from 6,751 in 2008 to 6,936 in 2010
Visit www.confederationc.on.ca/strikeupdate for the latest information.
Due to the labour dispute at Confederation College, transit stops on college property are out of service. Temporary stops are located on Golf Links Rd. and William St. A temp stop at the Aviation Centre is located at the parking lot entrance.