college staff form new association to improve “third-world”
–Delegates representing 16,000 faculty and support staff
from Ontario’s 24 colleges met this weekend to form the
Organization of Part-time and Sessional Employees of
Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (OPSECAAT), despite
a government-imposed ban on unionization.
Last week, the Geneva-based
International Labour Organization (ILO) ruled that these
workers should have the legal right to bargain collectively,
and urged the McGuinty government to move rapidly to make
the needed legislative changes so this can happen.
Roger Couvrette, a part-time
teacher at Algonquin College in Ottawa, the organization’s
first president, slammed the Ontario government for allowing
“third-world working conditions to persist in Ontario
colleges” as a result of legislation banning these workers
from joining a union.
“You expect to hear the ILO
ruling on the way companies treat workers in countries like
Indonesia and India. These workers are a source of cheap
labour; they have no job security; their working conditions
are abysmal, and they have no benefits,” he said.
“Like these workers, the 16,000
part-time college workers in Ontario’s community colleges
are a source of cheap labour. We have no job security. Our
working conditions are abysmal. We have no benefits,” he
OPSECAAT will begin a membership
drive early in 2007, and plans a political campaign to
change the current law. Delegates also elected a 10-member
executive with five members each from support staff and
For information please contact:
Roger Couvrette, President,