Petition for the Immediate Removal of Demand UP1 from OPSEU CAAT-S Offer for Settlement and Bargaining Position sign now

Preamble: We the undersigned, members in good standing of OPSEU CAAT-S Local 124 demand that Rod Bemister et al, OPSEU CAAT-S Bargaining Team, take the following full and immediate action;

Action: Removal without prejudice, of OPSEU proposal/provision UP 1 from the current "Union Offer for Settlement" dated August 31, and all subsequent offers and documents similarly intended.

Elaboration: OPSEU proposal/provision UP 1 seeks to modify Article 1.1 (Exclusive Bargaining Agent) - subsequently Article 1 (Recognition) - of the Collective Agreement (CA) previously expired. Section 1.1 defines The Union as the exclusive bargaining agent for CAAT-S Support employees save and except for those explicitly defined thereafter.
UP 1 proposes to modify those positions as previously excepted, specifically by striking the fourth exception text as follows: "-persons regularly employed for twenty-four (24) hours per week or less;"
This change would mean that employee-positions currently identified as "part-time" and/or "contract" would become full bargaining unit positions, with all that is entailed.

Rationale: The democratically-compiled list of bargaining priorities (undertaken by CAAT-S members late in 2010) and provided to the CAAT-S Bargaining Team does not include language that would establish or support proposals such as UP 1 (to unionize part-time employees in, with and through our CA) with any priority. In fact the result of that effort revealed that the majority of CAAT-S membership chose the following as our highest-priority items for bargaining;
1.Wages & Benefits
2.Working Conditions
3.Introduction of a two-tier benefit package for new employees
The CAAT-S Bargaining Team has therefore not only tabled a demand (UP 1) taken from the ongoing ideological battle between OPSEU and the Province rather than from the priorities of membership which it is allegedly representing, but has elevated it to the highest-priority demand on the table, simply by its inclusion. This is necessarily so due to the immense scope and potential cost of the demand itself. UP 1 can not be said to be any lower of a priority than the very highest when the cost of implementing it would eclipse that of all other tabled demands combined. We believe that the College Employer Council certainly regards it as significantly as this, and refer to the recent actions of the Council and the Province with respect to the ongoing legal issues over uncounted part-time ballots, as proof.

Conclusion: It is the prerogative and legal right of College part-time and contract employees to want, to organize and to actualize membership in a representative trade union. However, we the undersigned believe fully that the appropriate means to that end is to continue the legal effort alluded to above, with and through the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Province of Ontario. OPSEU can and should continue to support part-time and contract workers in varied ways in this regard, but negotiations around the recently expired CA for full-time CAAT-S employees is absolutely not the appropriate vehicle for achieving this. The inclusion of tabled demand UP 1 is not indicative of the expressed priorities of CAAT-S membership, and should therefore be immediately removed.

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Bob KirkBy:
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Petition target:
CAAT-S Bargaining Team

Petition community:
Local 124, CAAT-S

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124, bargaining, caat-s, local, opseu, petition, staff, support

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