Education workers serve five days’ strike notice

 In News

CUPE given five days’ notice of a potential province-wide strike, meaning a strike is possible starting on Monday, Nov. 21.

CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) central bargaining committee has been negotiating for 167 days. Negotiating for 55,000 frontline education workers, the committee said it was able to reach a middle ground with the Ford government and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) on wages.

“Despite that progress, the government refused to invest in the services that students need and parents expect, precipitating this escalation.”

“This is not where we wanted to be,” said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE-OSBCU. “We hoped the Ford government would accept our reasonable, affordable, and necessary proposals five months ago. We hoped they’d recognize the urgency of workers’ plea for resources in our historic strike vote. We hoped they’d respond to last week’s show of parent and worker solidarity. Yet they came back without a single cent for students. They’ve left us no choice.”

Education workers are fighting for: enough educational assistants so all students get the supports they need and so schools could stop sending kids home because there isn’t an EA available; an early childhood educator in every kindergarten classroom so every four- and five-year-old would get the play-based learning support that’s especially necessary now after two years of pandemic isolation; enough library workers to make sure school libraries are open and reading opportunities are available to kids all the time; enough custodians to keep schools clean and enough maintenance workers and tradespeople to begin to tackle the $16 billion repair backlog; and adequate staffing of secretaries in school offices and enough lunchroom supervisors to keep students safe.

There is a potential for the labour action to disrupt classroom learning. The Simcoe County District School Board said more information will be shared with families later this week.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment