Hot Zone – Employment Implications
We recently sent an email to members concerning Fanshawe College’s purchase of Hot Zone:
Dear Faculty,You may be aware from President Devlin’s welcome breakfast presentation that Fanshawe College has purchased Hot Zone Training Consultants.Hot Zone is a private for-profit company based in Cambridge that provides health and safety training. The purchase of a for-profit company is an unusual, perhaps unprecedented, move for a public college. Hot Zone is in competition with other for-profit businesses and non-for-profit organizations such as the Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC). Incidentally, as members of the union you have supported the WHSC including the spending of your local dues to have one of our own members certified as a WHSC instructor.It has been said by Fanshawe’s leadership that the strength of the college is its people. Yet, this purchase is a complete “end run” around Fanshawe’s people. Fanshawe has confirmed that although they own Hot Zone and will receive the profits, somehow they claim Hot Zone employees are not Fanshawe employees. We know that many of you, especially those of you hired recently, have been tasked with developing new programs. I probably don’t need to tell you what could happen if the college can start up new initiatives by simply purchasing a private company to do the work instead.Therefore, yesterday OPSEU requested the assistance of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to determine the status of the Hot Zone employees. Please see the attached for the details behind our application. I don’t see this as a confrontational approach with the College, rather, we’re simply asking the OLRB to apply the Colleges Collective Bargaining Act to help us determine which of the Hot Zone employees are faculty and which are support staff.This approach was successfully used decades ago when Local 110 applied to the OLRB because Fanshawe hired managers to work as co-op consultants. After consideration by the OLRB, the co-op consultants found a home in Local 109 where they remain proud members to this day.
President, OPSEU Local 110 (Fanshawe College Faculty Union)