Possible Strike 2021
Details Regarding Possible Strike:
Strike COVID Polices
While we are making progress COVID-19 there remains a risk of continued spread of coronavirus in our communities and potentially on our picket lines. We have developed policies to prevent the spread of disease and to keep our members safe. I know some of you are no longer concerned about COVID as vaccines have reduced some individual risk factors. I ask each of you to remember that all members are not in the same position. Some members are immunocompromised, have family members who are immunocompromised, are in contact with older adults, have children under 5, are pregnant, have pregnant spouses, are in contact with unvaccinated individuals, or face other risk factors. I, therefore, ask in consideration of these individuals to please follow these policies to keep people safe and to keep them feeling safe. Accommodations, as explained below, will be provided for members who have COVID related concerns that are not able to be addressed by these policies (Apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHwNp1rHo2GeHSg2_B7i30zS4wbYskoQac0wANLBTlfBmNMg/viewform?usp=sf_link)
All members must complete the Ontario Government COVID Self Assessment before each shift. It can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment Members who fail the test or who are COVID positive can notify their picket captain they are sick and will be allowed to picket from home for the shift.
Masks must be worn at all picket lines even when outside, except when eating or drinking. If eating or drinking, please be physically distant from all other members.
Members providing shuttling service or sitting in a shuttle must wear a mask at all times. Windows in shuttles will be kept open when any two members are present.
Members who wish to remain physically distant from other members must notify their strike captain. The strike captain will let the members on the line know to remain distant from those members who request it. If you would like to be physically distant you will receive a sticker you can choose to place on your picket sign to remind other members to keep their distance.
Members who are not fully vaccinated (two doses of a health Canada two-dose regime or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine) will be required to request accommodation. Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated will not be allowed on picket locations. If you have not been fully vaccinated please complete the Form J (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHwNp1rHo2GeHSg2_B7i30zS4wbYskoQac0wANLBTlfBmNMg/viewform?usp=sf_link)
Officers who are travelling to multiple sites on a regular basis will be tested at least weekly using a Rapid Antigen Test
If individuals require accommodation for COVID-related reasons please complete Form J (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHwNp1rHo2GeHSg2_B7i30zS4wbYskoQac0wANLBTlfBmNMg/viewform?usp=sf_link) to apply for accommodation.
Update: March 15
No one wants to go on strike. I understand your frustration that it has reached this point. The reality is, short of a last-minute agreement, we will be on strike on Friday. How long this strike lasts will be partly out of our control, but it will also be partly up to each of us individually. The more we engage in picket duties, the more we share information on social media, and the more we pressure our political leaders the faster the strike will end.
I did not make the decision to go on strike but given the information our bargaining team shared with Local Presidents last week; I fully support the choice to strike. Our work-to-rule campaign was not generating the pressure that we needed to get college Presidents to direct the CEC to return to the bargaining table. This allowed the CEC to put all of us in an impossible situation. Our bargaining team believes unless we go on strike now we face the risk of a lengthy lockout or drastic imposed conditions over the spring and summer.
If you would like to better understand why the bargaining team has decided to set a strike deadline I encourage you to watch the first two minutes of the video by Darryl Bedford at Local 110: https://www.opseu110.ca/video-to-l110-members-strike-deadline/?fbclid=IwAR1fFVz-6Gf-vkThddEWkl7UCdQWcB2vNPRqazsRF2ELCLibT-Eo9lz8L6I
I appreciate your questions and I am sorry I am falling behind on answering them. If I have not yet answered you, I hope you will find the answers below. This email covers the following topics:
Friday 10:00 am Rally
Strike Pay Details
Letter for Students
Signing Up for Strike Pay (a repeat from previous messages)
Also, a reminder the General Members Meeting to discuss strike preparation will take place on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at 05:30 PM. To attend this meeting, you will need to register in advance using the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtdOCtpzIvGNaJSYaLW2UcWNRHESNJKJjX
Friday Rally Change of Plans
In light of the good news that bargaining teams will return to the table to negotiate tomorrow and the reality that those negotiations will likely take until late in the evening, we have decided to change our rally on Friday from a physical rally to a virtual one.
The rally will take place on Zoom on Friday, March 18, 2022, at 10:00 am. You need to register in advance to attend the rally:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
After the rally, you will be meeting with your picket captains. Attending this rally and meeting will be necessary to qualify for strike pay on Friday.
Strike Captains will be meeting before the rally at 9:00 am using the same link.
Strike pay is tax-free and requires members to complete 20 hours of strike duties a week in four-hour shifts. Members who complete 20 hours of strike duties each week will qualify for strike pay as follows:
If the strike lasts to week 3 the local funding will likely be mostly exhausted. We plan to pay out whatever remains in the Local strike fund during week 3 to members who participate that week.
OPSEU payments will be paid by direct deposit. The local top-up will be provided by cheque to members.
Sign Up for Picket Duties
To qualify for strike pay you must sign up as an OPSEU member, complete the portal information (explained below), sign up for a local picket shift, and complete 20 hours of strike duties.
Sign up for strike duties by completing this form by Thursday at 10:00 am:
We will be holding picket shifts as follows starting on Monday:
Doon Campus 7 am to 11 am
Doon Campus 10 am to 2 pm
Doon Campus 1 pm to 5 pm
Brantford Campus 10 am to 2 pm
Guelph Campus 10 am to 2 pm
Stratford Campus 10 am to 2 pm
Waterloo Campus 10 am to 2 pm
London with Fanshawe College (times to be determined by Fanshawe)
If you are unable to picket due and require a medical or compassionate grounds accommodation, please complete the form and check the appropriate box.
I encourage everyone to renew any prescriptions you have right now. During the last strike benefits were continued by the college and the employer portion was paid by OPSEU. I do not know what will happen this time as benefit continuation needs to be negotiated between OPSEU and the CEC. If the Colleges will not agree to continue benefits we will have a smaller benefits package provided by OPSEU.
Sign Up to Qualify for Strike Pay
If you have not yet formally signed up as a member of the OPSEU please complete the following form: https://hub03.opseu.org/Forms/emaweb?EmployerSelect=Conestoga%20College%20-%20Academic&local_code=237%20-%20Kitchener%20%27Conestoga%20CAAT-A%27
If you are not sure if you have signed up, please sign up again. To sign up, if you have been given an OPSEU membership number, you will need it.
Once you are signed up you will need to sign into the OPSEU member portal to qualify for strike pay. Once again your will need your OPSEU membership number ([OPSEU Number]). Once on the portal ensure you have inputted your banking information and that you have listed your dependents. The amount of strike pay you will receive will depend on the number of dependents you have and on your participation in picketing.
Attached to this email you will find detailed instructions on using the OPSEU membership portal: https://members.opseu.org/