Following a Certification Vote on April 12, 2017, OSSTF/FEESO now represents the YCDSB PSSPs. This 99 member Bargaining Unit includes Speech Language Pathologists, Behaviour Resource Personnel, Psychologists, Psycho-Educational Consultants and Psychological Associates, Electronic Resource Technicians, Mobility Instructor, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Communicative Disorders Assistants, and Attendance Counsellors.
The Professional Student Services Personnel (PSSP) from the York Catholic District School Board was one of the last two large PSSP groups that were not yet members of a union. Considering the changing landscape in education, some felt that it might be time to become members of an organization such as OSSTF/FEESO that understood their issues and concerns, and could offer a level of professional support.
Following information meetings, a card-signing campaign was initiated and on April 12, 2017, the majority of the membership voted to become OSSTF/FEESO members. At their Inaugural Meeting on May 17, 2017, the general membership adopted their constitution and elected their officers.
In late May 2017, trustees attempted to eliminate close to 10 per cent of the positions in the Bargaining Unit, which included all of the Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist positions. OSSTF/FEESO reacted and intervened immediately! PSSP members were pleased when in June, the trustees subsequently rescinded their original motion to eliminate the positions, thereby safeguarding the jobs of OSSTF/FEESO’s newest members.
The process to negotiate the unit’s first collective agreement is well under way, and OSSTF/FEESO looks forward to many years of involvement by these new members.