Ontario education workers are in a legal strike position on Nov. 3
LOCALLY, CUPE REPRESENTS CUSTODIANS AND MAINTENANCE STAFF AT THE PUBLIC BOARD, CUSTODIANS AT THE CATHOLIC BOARD
Courtesy of Barrie 36o and Canadian PressPublished: Oct 14th, 2022 originally – and CTV News Report October 17th
CTV News Addendum:
The Canadian Union of Public Employees says their 55,000 education worker members in Ontario, such as custodians, early childhood educators and administration staff, will be in a legal strike position as of Nov. 3
They say a conciliator has issued what’s known as a “no board report,” which the union requested on Oct. 7, saying the talks were at an impasse.
The report sets a 17-day countdown toward the union being in a legal strike position, though CUPE is still required to give five days’ notice of any job action.
Barrie 360/Canadian Press report: By Allison Jones in Toronto
Ontario education workers such as librarians, custodians and early childhood educators have agreed to mediation with the government in contract talks that have inched toward a strike.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents about 55,000 education workers in the province, said it welcomes the assistance of a mediator.
“We want to reach a negotiated agreement that will guarantee service improvements for students, help solve school boards’ problems hiring and keeping qualified employees, and secure a significant wage increase for the lowest-paid frontline education workers that’s long overdue,” Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, said in a written statement.
William Kaplan, the mediator, also helped CUPE and the government reach a contract in 2019.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said he was pleased with the development in negotiations.
“We will never waver from our belief that students must be in class for the entire school year, surrounded by their friends, learning the life and job skills that will help them catch up,” he wrote in a statement.
CUPE said another bargaining date has also now been added, so the parties will meet on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
The news comes as CUPE awaits what’s known as a “no board” report – the union requested one last week and if the conciliator issues it, the education workers will be in a legal strike position 17 days later.
Walton had said she hoped the request for a no board report would increase pressure on the government to reach a negotiated settlement.
CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent and the government in response has offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers.
Education workers have made several other proposals, including overtime at two times the regular pay rate, 30 minutes of paid prep time per day for educational assistants and ECEs, an increase in benefits and professional development for all workers.