Sunday, October 13, 2013

Five articles on the struggle against Bill 115

Elementary school picket line, Dec.2012.
These five articles were published at, which presents "Canadian labour news and analysis from a critical perspective."

In September 2012, the Ontario Liberal government passed Bill 115 which imposed a deep concessionary framework on bargaining between the province's five education worker unions and school boards, the traditional and legal employer bargaining agent. The framework was modeled on a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the leaders of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association in June 2012 without any consultation of local bargaining teams or ratification by the membership.

Bill 115 violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for removing the right to a free and fair collective bargaining process. It also forbade the unions from appealing any aspect of the bill through the Ontario Labour Relations Board or the provincial Human Rights Commission. This authoritarian bill suspended the civil liberties of teachers for the alleged purposes of saving $2 billion from the province's Liberal budget; a budget deficit caused in part by a succession of corporate tax cuts, the billion dollar gas plant scandal, and waving over a billion dollars in owed corporate taxes.

These articles trace the arc of this struggle from September 2012 until the spring of 2013.

Waiting for a walkout: the end of McGuinty?
October 5 2012

Kill Bill 115: Where is the movement going?
December 7 2012

Ontario teachers and the law
January 11 2013

Dissent brews in the OSSTF
March 6 2013

Ken Coran: Anatomy of a sellout
July 2 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Queen's post-doc bargaining in perspective

Originally published in the Queen's Journal, October 1 2013
I post it here with the title I proposed.

At the moment, both bargaining units of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local 901 are engaged in negotiations with Queen’s University.

Unit One, representing 1,300 graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and teaching fellows (TFs), started bargaining their second contract in May. Their first contract was signed in 2011 after they unionized the year before.

Post-doctoral fellows, represented by Unit Two, are bargaining their first contract and unfortunately, this process has taken almost three years. Queen’s has recently added three new conciliation dates to negotiate with PSAC.