Colleges, Support Staff Reach Deal

Ontario colleges and their 8,000 support staff have reached a new tentative deal, which will cover 523 Fanshawe College employees.

The four-year contract includes a wage increase each year, according to Florry Foster with OPSEU Local 137, who chaired the colleges’ bargaining team. She wouldn’t give any further information until meeting with employees.

In 2012, staff walked off the job before a deal was reached. Foster says they wanted to avoid that this time.

“We handled the table differently, where everybody had an opportunity to make proposals,” she says. “I think it helped open up the dialogue so there was more real negotiations happening at the table.”

Foster says the College Collective Bargaining Act requires OPSEU to have all ratification votes supervised by the Ministry of Labour, so it will likely be late September before ballots are cast.

*with files from Kevin Black