Part-time Ontario college staff vote to unionize

In an historic vote, about 20,000 part-time Ontario college staff members have decided to unionize.

The employees will become members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU). According to OPSEU, the staff members voted overwhelmingly to join the union. 84 per cent of the ballots counted were cast in favour of unionizing. An OPSEU press release said the vote results cap the union’s “14-year struggle on behalf of precarious workers who have little or no job security.”

The drive was “a magnificent victory for part-time college support staff and for all the people who worked hard for so many years to win union rights for them,” said OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

OPSEU also organized a provincial unionization drive to represent more than 20,000 college contract faculty members. The vote took place in October but has not yet been counted by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.