Students Support Part-Time College Workers' Victory

    Part-Time Workers' Right to Organise Long Overdue

    TORONTO, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - Toronto-College and university students across
the province are pleased that the McGuinty government has finally announced
that it intends to recognise part-time college workers' right to collectively
bargain the conditions of their employment. The Canadian Federation of
Students has been supporting the "I Believe in Fairness for Part-time College
Workers!" campaign to put pressure on the Government of Ontario to extend
basic labour rights to all college workers.
    "Students congratulate the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and the
National Union of Public and General Employees on their victory," said Jen
Hassum, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The
working conditions of college staff are students' learning conditions, so this
is a victory for all of us."
    In November 2006, the International Labour Organization, an agency of the
United Nations, condemned the McGuinty government for continuing to prevent
the more than 16,000 part-time college workers from joining a union. Unionised
part-time teaching staff means higher quality education for students because
the faculty to student ratio will improve as a result of collective
bargaining. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees all citizens the right to
collectively bargain employment contracts.
    "Ontario's prohibition of the basic right to organise for part-time
college workers is an anomaly and this international embarrassment must end
immediately," said Hassum. "Regardless of who wins the election on October 10,
students will be calling on the government to immediately amend the Colleges
Collective Bargaining Act to allow part-time staff and faculty in this
province the same right as their peers across the country."

    The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is comprised of more than
300,000 college and university students across the province. The Federation is
working with local college and university students' unions to increase student
voter turnout and to educate students and voters in general about the major
parties' platforms on post-secondary education.

For further information:

For further information: Jen Hassum, Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or
(416) 832-9073 (cell); Jesse Greener, Campaigns and Government Relations
Coordinator, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 301-5747 (cell)

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