Thousands of Education Workers Will Begin Work-to-Rule in Ontario
Today, more than 55,000 members of CUPE Ontario have begun legal job action to secure the education services students need at school.
This is following negotiations breaking off Sunday, September 29.
The members are education workers, represented by CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU). They work in the province’s schools and board offices, in both the French and English systems, for public and Catholic boards, in communities across Ontario.
A statement from CUPE read: “After years of Liberal underfunding, the Ford Conservatives have made a bad situation even worse, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Ontario’s schools in just the last year. Those cuts have resulted in lost services for students in schools and lost jobs for frontline education workers in our communities.”
CUPE members do a lot to make the province’s schools flow smoothly.
Many members work as educational assistants, custodians, office administrators, early childhood educators, tradespeople, instructors, library technicians, speech pathologists, IT specialists and many other positions.
“CUPE’s 55,000 school board members are the backbone of our schools and have been on the frontline, fighting for publicly delivered education services and standing with students, parents and our communities against the Ford Conservatives’ cuts,” continued the statement.
CUPE states that its education workers’ job action begins today with work-to-rule.
CUPE continued stating: “members are prepared to escalate their job action plan if a fair collective agreement cannot be negotiated. Today, CUPE education workers begin job action with the support and solidarity of the other 215,000 CUPE members in the Province of Ontario who are municipal, health care, social services, university and airline workers.”
Yesterday (September 29), Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Education, made a statement on the matter.
“It is deeply disappointing that CUPE has decided to end talks this weekend and proceed with a partial withdrawal of services, despite a limited number of outstanding items at the table,” said Lecce. “The Crown and the employers tabled a reasonable offer and expanded our offer through the negotiations with one interest in mind: landing a deal that keeps our kids in class.”
Lecce also confirmed in his statement that: “During this period of job action, student safety will remain the utmost priority - a position I know we all share.”
CUPE states: “We are also parents and community members who value the hard work, dedication and critical public services provided to our province by school board workers.”
Additionally, in a statement released by CUPE yesterday (September 29), the organization states it remains committed to reconvening mediation toward reaching a freely negotiated settlement.
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