Issue #4, September 13, 2011
Support staff descends on Toronto today for march and rally outside management offices
Hundreds of striking CAAT Support workers are expected to descend on downtown Toronto this morning for a march and rally that will end outside the Bay Street offices of the College Employer Council.
Busloads of support staff will arrive from Georgian, St. Lawrence, Mohawk, Niagara and Durham colleges, to join their striking colleagues arriving from Centennial, Humber, George Brown and Seneca colleges in Toronto. The march and rally are also expected to attract additional supporters from organized labour groups in the Toronto region.
“Without a doubt this will be the largest rally to date,” said Rod Bemister, chair of the CAAT-S bargaining team. “Our message to management will be loud and clear: Let’s get back to the bargaining table – now!”
Support staff demonstrators are scheduled to assemble at the downtown St. James campus of George Brown College at 7:30 a.m., before marching the short few blocks to the Council’s head office at 20 Bay Street where the rally is expected to begin by 8:00 a.m.
The rally outside the Council’s corporate offices is designed to coincide with its regular monthly meeting of college representatives.
A full story and photos from today’s march and rally in Toronto will be published in tomorrow’s Strike Bulletin.
OPSEU president to visit picket lines in Sudbury and the Soo today
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas has a busy day ahead for himself today. In a demonstration of solidarity with striking college support workers he will visit picket lines at three colleges in Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie.
He kicks off the morning by visiting pickets at Cambrian College in Sudbury between 10 a.m. and 11. Then it’s a short drive to join the line with support staff at Collège Boréal, also located in the northern Ontario city.
Smokey will then hop a plane for the flight to Sault Ste. Marie where he will attend a solidarity BBQ and speak to members outside the OPSEU regional office before leading a march of Sault College support staff to the main entrance of the college.
Bargaining team responds to misleading management correspondence
By now most striking college support workers have likely received some correspondence from their college president that makes an effort to “explain” management’s side of the dispute.
Rather than an honest explanation, the correspondence makes a weak effort to “spin” management’s side of the contract stalemate.
Your bargaining team has put together a point-by-point rebuttal to the misleading information management has sent out. Let’s call it our facts versus their fiction.
You can read our “Questions & Answers” document in response to management’s side of the story by going to www.opseu.org and follow the links to the unvarnished truth.
The bottom line is this: Your bargaining team is prepared to return to negotiations on a moment’s notice. Management has no interest whatsoever in returning to the talks.
Building solidarity through your Strike Bulletin
The daily Strike Bulletin is a great way to build solidarity and maintain morale throughout the work stoppage. You can do your part by contributing stories and photos. Demonstrate to your striking colleagues across Ontario that we’re all in this together.
We’re looking for short stories, picket line observations and pretty much anything that you think may be of interest to CAAT Support members at 24 colleges in the province. Send your submissions to OPSEU communications officer Greg Hamara at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re looking for good photos, too. If you capture an image and want to share it through the Strike Bulletin send it to OPSEU communications assistant Jason Alward at email@example.com Remember: close-up and medium distance photos usually reproduce better than far-away shots.