Thunder Bay

Kenora Catholic school board staff unionize

Around 100 early childhood educators, educational assistants and lunchtime monitors have joined the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

Around 100 early childhood educators, educational assistants and lunchtime monitors have joined OPSEU

OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the next step for the Kenora Catholic District School Board employees is to apply for a notice to bargain. (Canadian Press)

Around 100 employees of the Kenora Catholic District School Board have joined the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

The employees are mostly early childhood educators, educational assistants and lunchtime monitors. 

They are "looking for transparency and a common voice when dealing with the [board]," said OPSEU organizer Phil Pollard in an email to CBC News. 

"Another main concern was equal pay for equal work, as there is a difference between what the same classifications at the public school board get paid compared to the Catholic board."

The next steps are to apply for a notice to bargain, put together a bargaining team and seek to bring the employer to the table," said union president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

​"The contracts in this sector — there's lots of experience out there," he said.  "I would think we would pretty much know what we want going in."

The workers voted to unionize on June 8, Pollard said.

now