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CUPE education workers ratify deal with government

UPDATE DEC. 5: Ontario education workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees have voted to ratify a contract with the government.

The deal includes a $1-per-hour raise each year, or about 3.59 per cent annually, for the average worker.
About 73 per cent of the union was in favour. Workers not in favour cited lack of services in classrooms, such as numbers of educational assistants and early childhood educators.

NOV 20: A tentative deal has been reached between CUPE and the Province of Ontario. As a result, all schools will be open to students on Monday, Nov. 21.

Staff and students will reconvene their regular in-person schedules and extracurricular activities on school property. In addition, all transportation services and before/afterschool care programs will resume. ​

The deal still needs to be ratified by CUPE members. A vote is expected to begin on Thursday and is to be completed by next weekend.

NOV. 16: The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has filed another notice that a province wide strike by education support workers could begin in five days.

The union states talks have been failing and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said over the past few days the province has put forward multiple offers but they have been rejected. While the mediator for discussions has asked both sides for discretion, Lecce stated the latest offer included wage increases for all workers, with the biggest increases for the lowest paid members.

A CUPE statement notes its Ontario School Bards Council of Unions central bargaining committee was able to reach a middle ground with the province on wages, but alleges the government “refused to invest in the services that students need and parents expect, precipitating this escalation.”

The province has offered workers a $1/hr raise for each year of a collective agreement – amounting to a 3.59 per cent raise.

CUPE seeks higher staffing levels for education assistants, librarians, custodians, secretaries and an early childhood educator in every kindergarten classroom.

Previous offers from the government included higher raises for workers earning less than $40,000 but CUPE did not approve of two-tiered increases.

Talks are expected to continue over the next five days.

The province’s approximate 55,000 workers walked off the job earlier this month despite legislation pressed into service to make a strike illegal. The province offered to withdraw the legislation if CUPE members returned to work and did so last week.

Filed Under: Local News

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