Monday, September 20, 2010

Rally in Solidarity with Strikers at Northern Ontario School of Medicine

There is a rally supporting the strikers from 3 pm to 5 pm at the South Bay Road picket line on Wednesday, September 22. Here are the details I received:

Wednesday, September 22: Students and Workers United - Solidarity Rally with
OPSEU Local 677

Students and Workers United
Solidarity Rally

South Bay Road Picket line
Wednesday, September 22

Last Friday, talks between NOSM management and OPSEU Local 677 broke off with none of the central concerns of the workers having been addressed. OPSEU initiated negotiations in October of 2009 and has spent hundreds of hours at the bargaining table to try to defend the working conditions they already had.

Laurentian University claims that they are not a party in this labour dispute between OPSEU and NOSM. What they do not say is that Laurentian University and NOSM are interconnected.

Dominic Giroux is the vice-chair of NOSM’s board of directors by virtue of his position as the president of Laurentian University. NOSM diplomas and letterheads say Laurentian and Lakehead University, not NOSM. When recruiting future students, Laurentian University is quick to tell people that we have a medical school on campus.

Laurentian University also said that OPSEU agreed to provide free flowing access to the broader Laurentian community. This is absolutely false. OPSEU has never agreed to these terms either verbally or in writing.

Laurentian University says they are concerned about safety and security throughout this strike, but this misinformation has created a situation where picketers’ safety is at risk.

What are the real issues? The central concern for OPSEU is not wages. OPSEU concerns include:

Hours of work (management demands that they be available at any time)
Contracting out
Transfer to other locations

Help us tell NOSM and Laurentian University that we will not accept bad faith bargaining and the denial of workers’ rights on our campus.

For more information, contact

If you are in Sudbury, please come on out! And, as I blogged earlier, anyone can get in touch with the presidents of Lakehead and Laurentian and tell them to use their influence to pressure for a fair deal for workers -- according to literature distributed by the strikers, you can get in touch with Dominic Giroux, president of Laurentian, by calling 705-673-6567 or emailing You can get in touch with Brian J.R. Stevenson, president of Lakehead, at 807-343-8200 or at For the FaceBook event, go here.

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