Nov 16, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Five days notice of a renewed strike has been filed by CUPE on behalf of Ontario’s 55,000 education support workers.

“From the beginning, we’ve been focused on improved jobs for education workers and improved services for students. For us, there is no one without the other,” said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE-OSBCU. “It’s incredibly disappointing that the Ford government categorically refused to put money on the
table to give students the type of learning environment they need.”

“This is not where we wanted to be,” said Walton. “We hoped the Ford government would accept our reasonable, affordable, and necessary proposals five months ago. We hoped they’d recognize the urgency of workers’ plea for resources in our historic strike vote. We hoped they’d respond to last week’s show of parent and worker solidarity. Yet they came back without a single cent for students. They’ve left us no choice.”

Education Minister Stephen Lecce is quoted as saying, “CUPE has filed notice to shut down classrooms,” which he says is disappointing after only a few short days after contract talks restarted.

Lecce also says since resuming talks, multiple improved offers have been put forward that he says would have added hundreds of millions of dollars across the sector, especially for lower income workers.

He claims CUPE has rejected all of the offers while government negotiators are at the table ready to land a deal to keep kids in class.

Education workers walked off the job for 2 days earlier this month before Premier Doug Ford offered on November 7th to rescind controversial legislation which imposed a contract on them and banned them from striking.

The next day both sides resumed bargaining and the legislation was rescinded on November 14th.

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