OTTAWA – Carleton University has ordered their Campus Safety Workers to remove union buttons and stickers, leading the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) to file an Unfair Labour Practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Carleton University has declared that union buttons and stickers do not conform to their uniform policy, however OPSEU believes this claim is simply anti-union.
"I do not believe for a minute that Carleton University is acting out of concern about their uniform policy. This employer is attempting to undermine contract negotiations," said OPSEU President, Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Carleton University has encouraged Campus Safety Workers to wear Remembrance Day poppy pins and ribbons in support of the campaign to end violence against women.
"I have been told to remove my union button," said Brent Gobeo, Bargaining Team Chair and OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President. "Yet my employer has never had a problem with me wearing a pin or ribbon before. First we had to call in a Conciliation Officer to help with our contract negotiations, and now the employer is being openly anti-union. This is not the best way to arrive at a collective agreement with your staff."
"We are very concerned about low staffing levels. There is a serious lack of investment in frontline staff in spite of campus growth," said Gobeo. "We are hoping the negotiation of this contract will improve staffing and campus safety for the students."
Carleton University Safety Workers include special constables, dispatchers, campus safety officers and student safety patrollers.
Nelson Ross Laguna,
Bargaining Team Chair and
OPSEU Local 404 Vice-President: