Queen’s staff to be unionized
The United Steelworkers of Canada has been certified to represent Queen’s staff.
The ballots cast in last spring’s vote were counted in Toronto today by the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the results are 487 to 417 (53.8%) in favour of unionization.
“We respect the decision made by staff and we will work cooperatively with the union in the best interests of our employees,” says Acting Associate V-P (Human Resources) Al Orth, who has been at the table for Queen’s. “The university highly values our staff and the work they do and we look forward to a professional relationship with union representatives based on mutual respect and goodwill.”
The ballots had been sealed since the March vote because the university and the union needed to agree on the description of the bargaining unit.
Arbitration/mediation talks this fall led to a settlement that paved the way for the count.
The bargaining unit will encompass over 1200 employees. The detailed description will be released jointly by the university and the union this week.
Mr. Orth says about 120 positions classified as “management and confidential capacity” remain in dispute.
“Our immediate next step is for arbitration/mediation discussions to continue to determine whether some of the positions classified as 'management and confidential capacity' should be included in the union or not,” he says.
“The fact that there are still some positions to work through didn’t stop us from reaching an agreement on the bargaining unit description and counting the ballots, but there is still some work to do. The university certainly appreciates the patience and understanding of staff as both sides have moved forward with what has become a lengthy process.”