Trent University, OPSEU ratify new deal for support staff in Peterborough and Oshawa


Published February 10, 2023 at 4:16 pm

Trent University and the union representing 460 support staff at campuses in Peterborough and Oshawa have ratified a new deal that was tentatively struck late last month.

OPSEU Local 365 members voted on the contract Thursday while the Trent Board of Governors ratified the new collective agreement Friday.

A highlight in the three-year agreement is a commitment to the transition of members to the multi-employer, jointly-sponsored University Pension Plan in January 2025.

OPSEU represents support staff at the school, including caretakers, administrative support, secretaries, systems analysts, maintenance workers, demonstrators, and teaching assistants.

“I’d like to congratulate both bargaining teams for their work on reaching this agreement,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent. “In a situation in which the legal decisions on Bill 124 created a complex bargaining environment, the agreement continues an era of very positive labour relations.” Groarke added that the move to the jointly-sponsored pension plan provides a “secure, sustainable pension for staff” while ensuring the university’s financial stability moving forward.

OPSEU Local 365 President Adele Devlin was also pleased with the new deal. “I believe we have a lot of wins in this agreement. The agreement is a testament of the hard work and commitment on both sides,” she said. “This was a very intricate process as it involved us moving our pension.”

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Agreement to convert from the University’s single employer pension plan to the University Pension Plan, the university sector’s jointly-sponsored pension plan, effective January 1, 2025
  • Focus on employee mental health and wellness through staff training initiatives as well as benefit increases for vision care, massage, physiotherapy and psychological care
  • Amendments to job competition, evaluation provisions and processes
  • Across-the-board wage increases, effective July 1 in each of the three years
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