Ontario Education Workers Vote to Accept Provincial Deal

Ontario educated workers, represented by the Civil Servants Union of Canada (CUPE), voted 73% of 55,000 members voted yes to accept a four-year contract with the state.

CUPE spokesperson Laura Walton said at a December 5 press conference that 76% of members, or about 41,000 people, had voted. 11,229 of her minority voted against the deal, or 27% of her. Walton said she had more votes in favor than she expected.

The vote follows 170 days of contract negotiations between the Ford government and labor unions that now give educational workers, including custodians, librarians and educational assistants, a $1 hourly raise each year of their contracts. , which represents an increase of 3.59%. every year on average.

All contracts with the Ontario Education Union, including those representing teachers, expired at the end of August. Other union negotiations are still underway.

The government preemptively passed Return-to-Work Bill 28 on November 3, authorizing states to impose four-year contracts on workers and impose fines of up to $4,000 per person per day. . In addition to the picket line, the union fines him $500,000 per day. This followed the union giving her five-day strike notice to the state.

On November 4, educators launched a two-day strike that closed many schools. Prime Minister Doug Ford has offered to repeal the law if unions return to contract negotiations.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce went on behalf of the province to the Ontario Labor Relations Commission to declare the strike by education aid workers illegal, claiming CUPE “called or authorized” the illegal strike. .

Both sides discussed the definition of a strike at the board meeting, and CUPE said the workers’ actions were not a strike but a “legitimate public protest”. The hearing was ultimately incontrovertible as the government repealed Bill 28.

Leece told reporters that the one million students who were absent from school across the state on Nov. 4 had the right to an education, and that the state was using “every tool available” to keep children in classrooms. said to return to

The union requested an additional $100 million in guarantees to fund the expansion and wanted every classroom to have an early childhood educator.

Canadian Press contributed to this report.

Marnie Cathcart


Marnie Cathcart is a reporter based in Edmonton.