April Newsletter

April 07, 2021
Newsletter header: News and Updates

April 2021 PDF


This month, the College Employer Council (CEC) will begin Part-Time Support Staff negotiations. This newsletter is dedicated to introducing the Part-Time Support Employer Bargaining Team. With a combined 175 years of labour relations, legal, and human resources experience, this team represents all regions of Ontario as well as Colleges of all sizes.

What's going on?

CEC News Pay Equity

In a joint letter, College Employer Council (CEC) CEO Graham Lloyd and OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas urged the government to include College faculty and staff who work with students in Phase II of the vaccine roll-out, along with teachers and other education staff. Colleges and their front-line faculty and staff have all been essential in provincial efforts to keep Ontario’s economy strong during the pandemic.

To assist colleges with their pay equity maintenance practices, College Employer Council (CEC) has collected a number of resources and materials that may be of use. When you log into the Board Effect portal, the HR Repository has a folder titled “Pay Equity” where you will find all collected materials. If you would like to share any document or resource with the sector, please forward it to Lisa Schneider at CEC with the subject line “BoardEffect Portal: Pay Equity Submission.

part-time support team

Bargaining Update

This year, two collective agreements will be negotiated. The academic CAAT-A collective agreement negotiations will start when notice to bargain is provided in July 2021. The CEC will be conducting regional consultations starting this month followed by mandate setting in June. Currently, the Colleges will soon be entering into negotiations with the part-time support staff whose collective agreement expired in January 2021. 

This years' Part-Time Support employer bargaining team is made up of 11 individuals who will represent the 24 Ontario public colleges in negotiations with OPSEU. Members of the Colleges’ Bargaining Team are selected based on their subject expertise and experience; past work on joint provincial committees; and continuity with past and future rounds of negotiations. Additionally, they represent small, medium, and large Colleges while maintaining a regional balance.

Meet the Part-Time Support Employer Bargaining Team below.

pascal and rick

Pascal Bessette, Chair, Vice-President, Human Resources and Organizational Culture

Rick Webb, Vice-Chair, Director Human Resources and Corporate Communications Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology

Pascal Bessette has worked with Colleges for over 17 years, serving in the capacity of Vice-President, Human Resources and Organizational Culture at Collège La Cité since July 2017. Prior to joining La Cité, he held human resource positions with the French Catholic School Board in Toronto, during which time he served as a member of the management bargaining team. In 2019, Pascal chaired the management bargaining team for the negotiation of the first collective agreement for the Part-time Support Staff group. In 2014, Pascal was also part of the management bargaining team for the Full-Time Support Staff group and is currently the management Co-Chair of the Support Staff Employee/Employer Relations Committee (EERC) – Full-Time and Part-Time groups.

Rick Webb has been with Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology since 2004. He has served on numerous provincial committees and was previously the Co-Chair of the Human Resources Coordinating Committee. He has been a management member of the Support Staff EERC since 2007. and has been a member of three Support Staff bargaining teams for management, in 2008 and 2011, 2018. Rick is an active member in his community, serving as the community appointee on the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Board and Chair of the Police Services Bargaining Committee.

christine and kim

Christine Blake, Dean, Academic Learning Services, Seneca College Kim Watkins, Vice President, Corporate Services, Mohawk College

Christine Blake has been with Seneca College for over 21 years, first as Manager, Student Services at the Seneca@York campus, then as the Director of Student Services and Dean of Students. Christine is currently the Dean Academic Learning Services, working with the main services at the college including Library, Test Centre, Learning Centre, Student Advising, Career development, and Work Integrated Learning (Seneca Works).  She has worked in partnership with the Seneca service teams to develop resources and supports to help students succeed during this unprecedented time of change in the virtual environment. Christine was a member of the 2014 management bargaining team and is currently a management member of the Support Staff EERC.

Kim Watkins was appointed Vice President Corporate Services in December 2020. She oversees a dynamic portfolio that includes information technology, human resources, facilities, finance, and ancillary services.
Kim joined Mohawk as the college’s Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Mohawk College Foundation in July 2016. She has also served as Interim Chief Information Officer and Acting Chief Human Resources Officer. Prior to joining Mohawk, she was the Director of Finance and Controller at Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario where she provided financial leadership to the college and Canadore College Foundation for 12 years.  Kim has also been a management member of the Support Staff EERC since May 2018. Additionally, she currently serves as a Trustee on the CAAT Pension Plan Board and is a member of the Customer Council at the OECM.

 David and Cathy

David Coward, Vice President, Human Resources, Georgian College Cathy Viviano, Consultant, Human Resources, College Employer Council

David is the Vice President of Human Resources at Georgian College and has more than 20 years of experience in the broader public sector and more than 25 years of extensive professional experience in human resource management and labour relations. David spent 16 years as the senior human resources officer at both the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
In his current role, David is responsible for all aspects of human resource management including labour relations, organizational development, recruitment and selection, and payroll and benefits.

Cathy is a Human Resources Consultant at the College Employer Council (CEC), having previously worked in Labour Relations for the City of Brampton and Sheridan College.

In addition to being a member of the Support Staff management bargaining team, Cathy serves on provincial Support Staff Management Union committees. Cathy holds a Bachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations from Athabasca University and is a Certified Human Resources Professional.

Graham and peter

Graham Lloyd, CEO, College Employer Council Peter McKeracher, Vice President, Labour Relations, College Employer Council

On August 1, 2019, Graham was appointed as CEO of the College Employer Council (CEC). 
Previously, he was employed with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario’s milk marketing board, where he held several senior leadership roles including most recently its CEO. Graham was also the General Counsel at a multi-national Insurer, and prior to that was a litigator in Toronto.
As a bilingual business leader and lawyer with 25 years of experience, he brings a significant skillset in advocacy, strategic planning, governance, communications, managing complex negotiations, and issues while regularly working with stakeholders, government, and the media.

During his time in the dairy industry, he worked with multiple diverse stakeholders and was actively involved in the negotiation of complex agreements and programs.

Peter McKeracher has been the Vice President of Labour Relations at the College Employer Council (CEC) since 2019 previously serving as the Director of Labour Relations and Director Academic. Prior to joining the CEC, Peter was the Director of Staff Relations at Algonquin College, managing labour relations with both the Academic and Support Staff locals. He also taught law at Durham College, where he was the President of the OPSEU Faculty local for 18 years. 

Trish and Abby

Trish Appleyard, Director, Labour Relations, College Employer Council Abby Radovski, Director, Communications, College Employer Council
As Director, Labour Relations for College Employer Council (CEC), Trish provides guidance and advice to her clients in the public college sector on a wide variety of labour relations, human resource, and human rights issues. She has previously worked as a labour and employment lawyer before moving to St. Lawrence College where she was the Associate Director, Workplace Relations.
Trish has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Industrial Relations and Juris Doctor degrees, both from Queen’s University. She spent 6 weeks in Geneva at the International Labour Organization’s International Organization for Employers in 2010, where she assisted with drafting a guide to the ILO’s conventions. Trish is licensed by the Law Society of Ontario.
Abby is the newly appointed Director of Communications at the College Employer Council (CEC). Some of her responsibilities include communicating updates on bargaining, promoting positive labour relations at the Colleges, and creating a trusted resource hub for information on collective agreements, benefits administration, and labour relations.
She brings more than 10 years of diverse communications experience having worked with clients in different sectors such as education, finance, consumer goods, and health.
Prior to joining the CEC, she led an integrated team of digital marketers and creative designers in strategy development, content creation, video production, social media management, issues management, and internal communications.
In her free time, she volunteers with Girl Guides of Canada and is the elected Secretary on her condo corporation's board of directors.


Rob Little, Legal Counsel, Hicks Morley

Robert Little is an employment lawyer with the law firm Hicks Morley.  He advises public and private sector employers on all areas of labour and employment law. He has represented the Colleges in Support Staff bargaining, both Full-Time and Part-Time, since 2000. This is his ninth round of Support Staff negotiations.

Rob has extensive experience in collective bargaining in both the public and private sector, and Robert has appeared as counsel in hundreds of employment law cases before the courts, arbitrators, human rights tribunals, Coroner’s Inquests and the Ontario Labour Relations Board.  He routinely defends employers charged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and chairs the firm’s Occupational Health and Safety practice group.

If you would like to submit a College or employee spotlight for inclusion in upcoming issues of this newsletter please send an e-mail to