Claims from UTMSU that OPH lowered its prices following the opening of the union’s convenience store are being disputed by university administration.
At the UTMSU annual general meeting on November 12, Francesco Otello-DeLuca, UTMSU VP internal and services, said that OPH lowered its prices following the opening of The Duck Stop, the UTMSU convenience store.
“OPH actually lowered their prices because of us opening up a convenience store, because our prices were so much lower,” said Otello-DeLuca at the meeting in response to a student’s comment that The Duck Stop did not actually have cheaper prices than some other locations on campus.
Otello-DeLuca added that UTMSU had gone to various locations on campus to compare prices to the Duck Stop.
According to Vicky Jezierski, UTM’s director of hospitality and retail services, OPH has not lowered prices since The Duck Stop opened its doors in early November.
“I am afraid you have been misinformed,” said Jezierski when The Medium asked about the alleged price change at OPH.
“We have had no change in price structure since September. Each year, we get the price proposal from Chartwells in July/August. We try not to make [price] changes during the school year to make it easier for students on a budget,” she said.
The Medium has not independently verified either party’s claim. Otello-DeLuca did not respond to The Medium’s request for comment regarding his statements from the AGM.
According to Jezierski, prices are adjusted when branded outlets such as Starbucks or Tim Hortons change the cost of menu items.
“We did negotiate zero-percent price increase in our new contract for the next school year for all the non-branded outlets, but we did not change anything for OPH,” she said.
UTMSU officially announced plans to open a convenience store in a vlog published on August 24; the union originally announced possible plans to open a dentist office or convenience store in a vlog published on the union’s YouTube channel on May 18.