June 2024 Newsletter

June 18, 2024
News and Updates


This edition of CEC's newsletter introduces the academic management bargaining team, which will begin negotiations next month. It also provides updates on the most recent CEC webinars and the bargaining status of part-time support staff.

Follow the CEC on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay informed between newsletters.


What's going on?

Webinar Recap: Support Staff Layoffs Webinar Recap: Express Payment Program for Life Claims

CEC hosted a webinar for human resources personnel at the 24 Ontario Public Colleges on the support staff layoff process. Provisions discussed include:

  • Employment Stability Committee Process
  • Notice to Employees
  • Displacement and Bumping
  • Familiarization Period and Retraining
  • Recall
  • Severance

 A recording is available for registered HR members of the College sector on the CEC website here.

On April 17th CEC hosted a webinar introducing a new and faster Sun Life express payments process for group benefits life insurance claims.  Topics covered included the following:

  • What’s changing?
  • What claims qualify for express payments?
  • Overview of the new process and updated forms
  • Next steps

A recording is available on the CEC website here.

CEC Update

This month, the CEC and Full-Time Support Staff Employer-Employee Relations Committee (EERC) will conduct its annual survey on EDI and Indigenous activities across the 24 Ontario Public Colleges. This year, the Union Co-Chairs will submit the reports on behalf of the 24 Union College Committees (UCC).

Bargaining Update

Part-time Support Bargaining

This month, the CEC and part-time support staff bargaining teams continued to discuss and make progress on non-monetary demands. The teams are scheduled to meet again next month to negotiate the monetary issues raised by the Union.

The current collective agreement expired on January 31, 2024. It will remain unchanged and in effect until a new collective agreement is reached.

The parties will meet again in July to continue negotiations.

Academic Bargaining

Next month, the College Employer Council (CEC) will begin negotiations with CAAT-A, full-time and partial-load academic employees including counsellors and librarians. The academic collective agreement expires on September 30, 2024.

In preparation for bargaining, the management bargaining team conducted consultations with all 24 Colleges to determine areas for change and/ or improvement in the current collective agreement.

This year's CAAT-A Academic 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 and present work on joint provincial committees such as the Kaplan award workload task force; and continuity with past and future rounds of negotiations. Additionally, they represent small, medium, and large Colleges while maintaining a regional balance.

The teams have mutually agreed to meet in July and September to bargain.

Bargaining information and updates will be available on


Academic Management Bargaining Team


Meet the Full-Time Academic Bargaining Team below.

Laurie and Les

Dr. Laurie Rancourt, Chair, Provincial Workload Task force Member and Retired Vice President Academic, Humber College Les Casson B.A.(Hons.), B.Ed., M.A., Dean, Faculty of Creative Industries and Brockville Campus, St. Lawrence College

Dr. Rancourt has close to 30 years of experience in the Canadian Community College system. From 2014 to 2021 she served as Senior Vice-President Academic at the Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning.


Prior to that she was the President and CEO at Northern Lights College (NLC) in British Columbia.


In the earlier years of her career, Laurie also worked at College Boreal, first as a faculty member and then in a variety of management positions such as Coordinator of Health Science Programs, Dean of Community Service Programs, Manager of Job Connect, Registrar, Vice-President Academic, and Vice-President Corporate Services.


Laurie is a college graduate holding a Diploma in Medical Radiation Technology from Cambrian College. A strong advocate and participant in lifelong learning, she has pursued several additional credentials since completing her college diploma. She now holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education from the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts Integrated Studies – Work, Organization and Leadership degree from Athabasca University, and a Baccalaureate in Liberal Science from Laurentian University.


She remains active in higher education working as an independent consultant and occasionally working as a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), and as an adjunct professor for Central Michigan University.


An educator and musician, Les Casson (she/they) joined the faculty at St. Lawrence College in 2007 with expertise teaching writing and communications and has served in a variety of roles from Professor to Program Coordinator, Academic Manager to Associate Dean. She was appointed SLC’s Dean, Faculty of Creative Industries and Brockville Campus in August 2022. Les is also a recognized leader within the Ontario College system, contributing to a range of sector-wide committees and initiatives, including academic contract negotiations in 2021 and the 2023-24 Kaplan award Workload Task Force.

In all her roles, Les prioritizes positive relationships, faculty growth and development, creative collaboration, and student success. As an academic leader, Les hears first-hand the priorities faculty have for their students and for their own working conditions and goals, while facing daily the administrative pressures and systemic disruptions that push and pull at colleges and the communities they serve. 

Les holds a BA (Hons) and MA in English Literature from Queen’s and a BEd from Western. Her teaching career began in high school English and Drama classes in Hamilton, Ontario, and her musical adventures have taken her from basement folk clubs to festivals and concert venues across Canada and the northeastern United States.  If nothing else, this mixed experience has honed the skills that shape them as an educator and a leader: listen carefully, communicate clearly and strategically, and improvise…a lot.


Bonnie and Angela

Bonnie St. George, Vice President External Relations and Advancement, Durham College Angela Zehr, Chief Financial Officer, Mohawk College

Bonnie St. George was appointed as Vice President, External Relations and Advancement at Durham College (DC) in March 2024.  In this role, she provides strategic direction and leadership relating to all areas of community, stakeholder and government relations, advancing the college’s positive impact both within our region and across Canada. 

Prior to this role, Bonnie served as DC’s Associate Vice President, Academic (Administration) guiding the college's academic leadership team, co-chairing the college’s Workload Monitoring Group and representing the college in arbitrations. In addition to driving strategic initiatives, she was responsible for governance, policy and procedure compliance and implementation, and organizational transformation.

With over 20 years of experience in post-secondary education, Bonnie has been a faculty member, a program coordinator for two programs, and an associate dean in two academic schools.  Before joining DC, Bonnie worked for several senior government leaders federally, provincially and municipally, providing policy advice, issues management and strategic direction.  Bonnie also served on multiple governance boards, including Lakeridge Health, Lakeridge Health Foundation, and Central East Local Health Integration Network.

Bonnie holds a Master of Business Administration from the Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University; a Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto; a Master of Arts in Political Science from McMaster University; and an Honours Bachelor of Arts with a double major in history and politics from Wilfrid Laurier University. She is currently working toward a Certificate in Law from Queen’s University.

Angela Zehr is the Chief Financial Officer at Mohawk College and the Treasurer of the Mohawk College Foundation.  Angela has over 20 years of financial management experience, working for over 13 years in the post-secondary education sector, and provides leadership, strategic planning, and senior management direction in all aspects of finance.  Through strong fiscal leadership and stewardship she ensures the financial integrity, viability and sustainability of the college.  Angela began her career in public accounting at KPMG LLP and has previously worked in financial reporting for a US public company in the manufacturing industry and in internal audit at an Ontario university. 

Angela is a CPA, CA and holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Honours degree from McMaster University.  Angela volunteers her time as a member of the Audit Committee for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and as the Treasurer for a not-for-profit social enterprise. 

Rob and Rob

Rob Burwash, Senior Director, Human Resources, Niagara College Rob Day, Human Resources Consultant, Academic and Francophone Affairs, College Employer Council

Rob has worked in a variety of Human Resource capacities for more than 30 years since graduating from Niagara College’s Human Resources program.  In that time, he has worked in the biopharmaceutical manufacturing, municipal government, and healthcare sectors before joining Niagara College 4 years ago. 

Labour Relations has always been one of his passions and he has been involved in more than 100 rounds of collective bargaining across Canada.  Rob also holds a B.A. in Labour Studies and an MBA.

Rob (He / Him – Il / lui) is an HR Consultant with the College Employer Council (CEC) where he provides support to clients in the College sector on matters related to the Academic bargaining unit. As one of the CEC’s bilingual (French/English) staff, Rob is also responsible for Francophone affairs.


Rob joined the CEC with more than 10 years of human resources experience in the public sector with the federal government. Most recently he led a team of HR Advisors and Administrative Assistants with the Immigration and Refugee Board.


Rob has a B.A. in philosophy from Western University as well as a post-graduate in Human Resources from the University of Toronto. He has received the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation from the Human Resources Professional Association (HRPA).


Graham and Peter

Graham Lloyd, CEO, College Employer Council

Peter McKeracher, Vice President, Labour Relations, College Employer Council

Graham was appointed as the College Employer Council (CEC) CEO in 2019. Since then, he has negotiated three collective agreements and the Bill 124 benefits and retroactive pay increases with each of the unionized groups at the 24 Ontario Public Colleges.

Previously, he was employed with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Ontario's Milk Marketing Board, where he held several senior leadership roles, including, its CEO. Prior to that, Graham was also the General Counsel at a multi-national Insurer and, before that, was a litigator in Toronto.

As a bilingual business leader and lawyer with 30 years of experience, he brings a significant skillset in managing complex negotiations, advocacy, strategic planning, governance, communications and and issues, while regularly working with key stakeholders, government, and the media.

During his time in the dairy industry, he worked with multiple diverse stakeholders and was actively involved in negotiating 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.

Before joining the CEC, Peter was the Director of Staff Relations at Algonquin College, managing labour relations with 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 resources, 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 Master of Industrial Relations and Juris Doctor degrees, both from Queen's University. She has worked 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 Director of Communications at the College Employer Council (CEC). 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 ten years of diverse communications experience, having worked with clients in different sectors such as education, finance, consumer goods, and health.

Before 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.

She volunteers with Girl Guides of Canada in her free time and is an elected Secretary on her condo corporation's board of directors.


Gregory Power, Legal Counsel, Hicks Morley

Gregory Power is a labour and employment lawyer and partner at Hicks Morley’s Toronto office but his practice extends nationwide. He provides strategic, practical and cost-effective advice to employers from coast to coast on a variety of workplace issues.

Gregory chairs the firm’s Colleges Sector Practice Group and previously served on the firm’s Executive Committee. He is an experienced negotiator who provides strategic guidance during times of crisis and times of significant change. He regularly acts as chief negotiator for clients engaged in the collective bargaining process and has negotiated collective agreements in almost every province. His approach is versatile and he has bargained for local, national, and multi-national corporations as well as colleges, libraries, police service boards and transit companies.

In addition to appearing before arbitrators, labour boards, courts and human rights tribunals at both the provincial and federal levels, Gregory routinely provides advice on corporate transactions, restructuring and positive employee relations. He devotes time to truly understand a client’s business so that he can better assist them to navigate and prioritize their workplace issues.

Prior to joining Hicks Morley, Gregory was employed with the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council where he advised clients on matters relating to employment standards, labour law and workers’ compensation.