Oct 21, 2022
By Jane Brown
The president of the union representing Ontario’s 55,000 education workers is criticizing the latest move by Education Minister Stephen Lecce to give parents $200 or $250 per child to help get them back on track with learning after the pandemic.
Laura Walton is quoted as saying, “this slush fund will cost the government $365-million dollars this year which is more than the cost of the lowest paid education workers’ wage proposal for 2022-23.”
And Annie Kidder with the parents group People for Education says giving cheques to parents is just not effective and there needs to be systemic change.
Stephen Lecce meantime was asked on CP24 Friday morning, why not put that money toward increases for the education workers?
“We’re going to continue to offer those workers whom we value more money every year over the course of their program. We have days booked with this union. My hope is they’re going to come to the table with something realistic, something affordable,” Lecce replied.
CUPE negotiators are asking for 11.7 percent annual wages in contract negotiations, which are on a break until November 1st.
On behalf of the PC government, Lecce has offered between 1.25 and 2 percent increases over 4 years.
Education workers, which include educational assistants, custodians and administrative staff, will be in a legal strike position November 3rd.
Lecce hinted earlier this week legislation could be introduced to prevent a walkout.