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About Local 237
The union is the collective voice of its members, and our voices are louder when heard as one.
Unions in General:
Simply put, a union is a group of people who join together in order to improve working conditions, job security, benefits, rights of workers, and compensation amongst other things. As a group, a union has more collective power than individuals would have when negotiating contract items. Without a union, individuals would be in charge of negotiating the terms of their own employment. This system can create inequity between individuals and can lead to issues related to working conditions, workload, job security, and benefits, etc. The union that represents Ontario College faculty and counsellors includes all 24 Ontario public colleges. There are vast differences in the conditions, needs, and cultures at each of these institutions. Crafting a single contract document that addresses the majority of the"demands" from all colleges can be a challenge. The collective agreement is the document used at all colleges. This document is your contract between the college and you as an employee. This document can be hard to navigate at times and this is where the Local Executive Committee (LEC) can help.
Local 237 Local Executive Committee LEC:
As a member of OPSEU, your Local Executive Committee (LEC) represents you and local concerns in larger union discussions. LEC members are elected from different schools, departments, and campuses at Conestoga College. The committee meets regularly to discuss updates and concerns in their area. Executive Officers are members of the LEC that have additional duties within the local. Positions like the president, treasurer, secretary etc. are executive officers. The other members of the LEC are called Stewards. Stewards are here to support members and discuss matters within a particular area. All members of the LEC are here to assist members in navigating the collective agreement, support members during meetings with supervisors, and bring forward concerns. If you have a question or concern, it is helpful to speak to your steward as a first step. Your LEC provides representation and support for faculty and counsellors at Conestoga. Our goal is to create a respectful, safe environment where faculty and counsellors feel comfortable sharing their experiences or concerns in order to develop solutions within the parameters of the collective agreement.
The LEC is here to support colleagues as they navigate workload, discussions with supervisors, job expectations, SWFs, general concerns, and much more. The collective agreement is not perfect, but it is the document we have. Every round of contract negotiation is an opportunity to work together towards improvement in the collective agreement. The items in the collective agreement are there because previous members stood together and demanded certain policies and procedures to improve conditions for workers.
An important thing to remember is that during negotiations "demands" will be given priority based on the majority and severity of the situation. Some of these concerns, may not resonate with you and your experience but might be negatively impacting workers in other locations. As members, we need to consider the group as a whole and collectively address the most pressing concerns at each round of bargaining.
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