Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

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TORONTO – Random workers at the University of Toronto are seeking better treatment from the country’s richest university as they begin negotiating a new collective agreement, says the United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1998.

Among the top, it calls for the bargaining unit of about 3,500 freelancers to be paid sick days and better language on job security. Casual workers include a wide range of administrative staff in all areas of the university who work on short-term or part-time contracts and are represented by USW Local 1998. Despite the intention that random contracts are less than six months, many freelancers are on extended contracts and some have been employed at the university for years.

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“This round of negotiations calls for better treatment of freelancers. Our members who work as casual staff work with full-time staff on the same projects, programs and departments,” said Colleen Burke, president of USW Local 1998. “The only difference in this situation is that casual workers have not paid sick days, as the full-time worker next to them does. ”

Some departments at the university rely on a revolving door of temps without paid sick days or job security.

“The University of Toronto is the richest university in Canada. In the meantime, random workers like me have to choose between going sick at work or not paying our bills, ”added Scott Eldridge, a casual employee at the university for 19 years. “One would think we would have learned a thing or two about not getting sick at work during a pandemic.”

In addition to paid sick days, the union prioritizes a better way for casual employees to convert to full-time employees, the opportunity to apply as internal candidates for U of T jobs and require departments to post full-time jobs and stop overconsumption. of temporary jobs.

“We hope to achieve our negotiation goals with the university in this round of negotiations. Providing paid sick days and secure jobs at the university is the basic level of justice for casual workers, ”said Burke.

USW Local 1998 represents over 8,000 administrative and technical staff at the University of Toronto, Victoria University, University of St. Michael’s College and the University of Toronto Schools, including approximately 3,500 random staff.

See the source version at businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211025005156/en/

Contact persons

Colleen Burke, USW Local 1998 President, 647-883-2678, colleen.burke@usw1998.ca
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

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