KINGSTON, ON AND TORONTO, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - Administrative staff of
Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, have voted to join the United
"This is a great day for Queen's staff," said Kelly Smith, a 20-year
Queen's employee in the Faculty of Arts and Science. "Now that we have
our vote counted, we can move forward with real bargaining rights that
give staff a voice in the decisions that affect us. Staff have always
been proud contributors to the life of our university and that will
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) today completed the counting
of ballots that were cast in a representation vote on March 31, 2010.
The final count of ballots was delayed due to differences between the
union and the university regarding the bargaining unit's structure.
After engaging in discussions and a formal mediation process, the USW
and Queen's reached a settlement with the assistance of
mediator/arbitrator Janice Johnson, paving the way for today's final
The new bargaining unit will number almost 1,100 employees. Queen's
staff join 7,500 other university employees in Ontario who are already
members of the USW - at the University of Guelph and at the University
of Toronto and its affiliated colleges Victoria University and St.
Michael's University College.
"Staff are a key part of Queen's successes and we have for a long time
needed a stronger voice," said Mark Publicover, a 30-year Queen's
employee in the geography department. "It is a time of great change in
the university sector and finally staff have a place at the table.
"Throughout the campaign, we reached out and talked about real issues
with our colleagues, like fairness, a genuine voice for staff,
consistent policies, job security, pensions and a better way to resolve
complaints. Now we can look forward to reaching out to all staff to get
ready for the exciting challenges of collective bargaining."
"Our union is excited by this vote of confidence," said USW Ontario
Director Wayne Fraser. "In June 2008 we were chosen by Queen's staff to
assist them in forming their union. We backed this long and challenging
campaign because we knew that Queen's staff were committed to a solid
effort. The vote results show that Queen's staff and the union made the
"Our union is growing steadily with new members joining across the
country, and this is one of the largest organizing wins in Canada in
the last few years," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director for
"We welcome the Queen's staff. They will be a great part of our union.
Now it is time to get ready for the opportunities that real collective
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: For further information:
Brad James, USW Organizing Dept., 416-544-6006, cell 416-524-5118;
Omero Landi, USW Organizing Dept., 416-544-6007, cell 416-414-8183.