Part-Time College Support workers from across the province met virtually November 6-7 to set the stage for negotiating their collective agreement by looking at issues, sharing stories and electing a new bargaining team.
OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida attended the event, which included almost 70 College Support Part-Time delegates, alternates and observers.
President Thomas offered special thanks to all members running for election. “Although COVID-19 has presented huge challenges, it’s imperative that we continue the hard work fighting for better working conditions for part-time support staff that reflect their valuable contributions,” he said in kicking off the conference. “You’re a key part of the solution to the college system – and absolutely indispensable to the social and economic future of our province.”
First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida also underscored the critical importance of support staff to the functioning of the college system. “When Ontarians think of colleges, they don’t necessarily think of the admin staff, the custodial staff, the kitchen staff, the grounds-keeping staff, and a thousand-and-one other staff, all of whom make our colleges welcoming places best able to make learning happen.
“But OPSEU/SEFPO sure does,” he continued, “and the incredible support you’ve given faculty and students during the pandemic to help the learning process continue is just further proof of how important you are to the college system.”
The newly elected bargaining team includes Lisa Lavigne from Local 349 at Georgian College, who will preside as chair. Nour Askandar from Local 557 (George Brown); David Brooks from Local 241 (Mohawk); Dale Gartshore from Local 124 (Lambton); Rick Townend from Local 109 (Fanshawe College); Denis Martinez from Local 561 (Seneca); and Julie Davis from Local 351 (Fleming) round out the team.
Everyone participated enthusiastically in the weekend’s activities, which included various presentations on bargaining, the economic landscape and mobilizing. There were also many nominees for election to the bargaining team, and we want to especially thank all who stepped forward for this important work. Notice to bargain has been filed, and local demand set meetings are being set. The final demand set meeting is scheduled for January 29-30, 2021.
Chair Lisa Lavigne, Local 349, Georgian College
Academic Program Assistant, Community Integration through Co-operative Education (CICE),
Office Administration, Law Clerk, Police Foundations, and Skilled Trades, Owen Sound Campus
2 years as a student, 3 years as an academic program assistant
Dale Gartshore, Local 124, Lambton College
Technologist/Technician, Fire Science Campus
6.5 years at the college
Rick Townend, Local 109, Fanshawe College
Academic Adviser/Consultant, School of Access Studies
4.5 years at the college
David Brooks, Local 241, Mohawk College – Student position on the bargaining team
Content Tutor, Learning Support Centre
5 semesters at the college as student, in 3rd semester as part-time tutor
Nour Askandar, Local 557, George Brown College
Student Support and Field Placement Co-ordinator, Legal Studies Department in Continuing Education, 3.5 years at the college
Denis Martinez, Local 561, Seneca College
Campus Recreation Officer, Campus Athletics and Recreation Services
4 years at the college
Julie Davis, Local 351, Fleming College
Purchasing Assistant, Purchasing Department, Finance, Sutherland Campus
10 years at the college