Toronto – November 14, 2017 – After a difficult round of negotiations, the 28 UFCW Canada Local 175 members working at the Islamic Foundation School of Toronto have ratified their first collective agreement.
The IFS bargaining committee achieved significant gains for members, who work as teachers at the school. Under the new contract, teachers are now recognized as permanent employees of the school. Before this agreement, teachers were hired on contracts that had to be renewed each year. In addition, the probationary period now ends at six months, the agreement extends to any changes in the geographic area of the school, and the employer cannot contract services out.
The two-year agreement includes salary improvements for the new union members of $1,350 per year, instead of the previous $1,000 per year. In addition, the teachers will receive a signing bonus and retroactive pay.
Teachers will now benefit from union steward representation at any meetings regarding discipline, and can take advantage of a full grievance and arbitration process. The contract also ensures that there will be no unpaid suspensions. The employer must provide a full written description of any disciplinary action, including terminations.
As well, language in the agreement ensures seniority recognition and protects bargaining unit work.Other provisions establish a process for job posting and hiring, and address the supply teachers’ continuous employment and permanence.
The new contract also lays out the specifics on hours of work, including rules for overtime, breaks, preparation time, staff meetings, and on-call time. Teachers can now leave the school 15 minutes after the end of class without any loss of pay. Previously, teachers had to remain at the school for 30 minutes. The work day is reduced by one hour during the month of Ramadan, there is language outlining orientation day and other special observances, and employees can now use sick days as choice days as well.
The full-time and part-time educators at the Toronto-based school voted to Join the union in May 2017. With this first collective agreement, they can now enjoy the full benefits of being a union member. The union negotiating committee consisted of UFCW Canada Local 175 members Nadia El Lababidi, Hasan Lam, and Storiy Whahedi, and UFCW 175 Union Representative Jehan Ahamed. To learn more about UFCW Canada Local 175, visit their website.