The threat of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario’s education workers walking off the job has now ended.
This morning CUPE announced that roughly 73% of their members have voted in favor of a new contract.
The announcement brings to a close a rocky negotiation process that saw CUPE workers walk off the job for two days, closing schools across the province after the government imposed a contract on them and banned them from striking. That legislation was later repealed to facilitate further negotiations.
On Nov. 20 a tentative deal between the union and the province was reached, which amounted to a $1 an hour raise each year for the average worker.
“Alongside the historic participation of workers in the sector, this round of fully free collective bargaining also sets a new standard for wage increases in the broader public sector; it completely eliminates concessions that would have been devastating for workers, students and schools; and it safeguards jobs and job security, which will benefit students and workers,” said CUPE Ontario in a statement to members. “We must also never forget that we reached this point after a historic and successful fightback, waged against Doug Ford’s Conservatives and their massive overreach in using the Charter’s Notwithstanding Clause to pass a despicable piece of legislation, Bill 28. This law stripped education workers of their constitutional right to free collective bargaining and their right to strike, and it imposed a contract with concessions to sick leave and many other components that would have been devastating for workers and students alike. The government’s contract would also have imposed two-tier wages on education workers and awarded pay increases totalling less than half the amount ratified in the end by education workers.”
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