'Magnificent victory': 20,000 part-time staff vote to unionize

'Magnificent victory': 20,000 part-time staff vote to unionize

Thousands of part-time employees at Ontario’s many colleges have voted to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The Canadian Press reports that around 20,000 workers voted, with 84% of the ballots agreeing to the union.

OPSEU president Warren Thomas labelled the vote 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”.

He continued: “The union movement is back and stronger than ever. We fought off an onslaught of right-wing reforms, but at the end of the day, workers understand clearly the union advantage when it comes to inequality, injustice and a fair and productive workplace."

OPSEU has long represented full-time staff at the colleges, but it was illegal for part-time employees to organize. The union claimed that a 2004 campaign launched resulted in a change of law, amending the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act in 2008, and allowing them the right to unionize.

"It truly is a dream come true for OPSEU members," added OPSEU Divisional Executive Chair Janice Hagan. "We can't wait to welcome these new members to our union."

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