Ontario Passes Back-to-Work Bill, Applied Despite Clause Ahead of Education Workers Strike

Ontario’s legislature has passed a return-to-work law to impose four-year contracts on education workers and outlaw the workers’ strike, which is scheduled to start Nov. 4.

However, the Civil Servants Union of Canada (CUPE) said its members will retire on 4 November.

building 28or the Keep Students in Class Act allows the state legislature to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to address disputes involving school board employees represented by CUPE, too. The terms apply regardless.

Representing about 55,000 education workers who earn an average of $39,000 a year, CUPE calls for an 11.7% annual salary increase and double the normal wage rate for overtime, among other things. On Oct. 30, the government told the Ontario government that he gave five days’ notice and that education officials would go on strike if demands were not met.

Measure 28 sets a 2.5% annual wage increase for individual workers earning less than $43,000 a year and a 1.5% increase for all other employees. The union said on Nov. 3 that the latest offer would be about half of what was originally proposed, resulting in a wage increase of about 6%.


Mediation fell apart as the unions and the government failed to reach an agreement.

“This is a call to union members, workers and anyone who believes in Charter rights across Canada. said CUPE National Chairman Mark Hancock. news release.

“The message from our leaders here in Ontario is clear: our members are united and we will fight. They have Canada’s largest union on their side and we will fight alongside them.”

The union said its members would start a statewide strike starting Nov. 4, despite being outlawed by Bill 28, and warned parents to make alternative arrangements by next week. CUPE did not provide a specific timeline for ending the strike, but said educators would stop working “until members make a different decision.”

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province will “use whatever tools it needs to end their mess.”

Following the Union Council of the Ontario Board of Education publication At a press conference, Lecce said the state had made “good faith efforts”, but CUPE’s refusal to take the threat of a strike off the table meant the government had no choice but to pass Bill 28.

“For Ontario’s two million students, CUPE had no choice but to get us through keeping. [Students] In class law,” said Lecce.

Penalties for violating the ban on strikes during collective bargaining agreements set forth in Bill 28 are up to $4,000 per employee per day, and up to $500,000 for unions.

“We are giving our members clear direction,” said Candace Rennick, CUPE’s national secretary-treasurer. “If you are fined on a picket line, please report the fine to the chairman and inform the union and we will give further instructions.

“If the Ontario government wants to clog the judicial system with fines of $4,000 per member per day, I say do it.”

Schools to close during strike

Many school boards across the state, including the Toronto District School Board, have said schools will be closed during the strike, but some are planning to transition to online learning.

In a memo obtained by The Canadian Press, the Ontario Department of Education urged the school board to “implement contingency plans in which every effort will be made to keep schools open for as many children as possible.” urged.

If the board determines that schools cannot safely open without CUPE members, the ministry said, “Boards of education should help students transition quickly to distance learning.”

The Association of Ontario Public School Boards (OPSBA) said many school boards were closing schools during the CUPE strike.

OPSBA President Kathy Abraham said, “Schools are closed to in-person learning because without these critical education personnel, we cannot maintain healthy and safe operations for our students.” said. statement November 3rd.

“We hope this disruption is short-lived and that we can return to in-person learning as soon as possible.”

Canadian Press contributed to this report.

Andrew Chen


Andrew Chen is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Toronto.