School support workers in Ontario will end the strike tomorrow

Spread the love

Ontario school support workers will end strike tomorrow

Support workers at schools in Ontario accuse Premier Doug Ford of bullying.

Union representing 55,000 teaching assistants, custodial and administrative workers in schools accepts the x27;Premier Doug Ford's offer to resume contract talks in return for the government's special law being overturned.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government will abolish Special Law 28 “as soon as possible”, without setting a date.

No date has been given either for the resumption of contract talks, but the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) promises to dismantle its pickets as of Tuesday, allowing students return to class.

CUPE-affiliated school support workers had been off work since Friday in protest at the Ford government's passing of a special law the previous day that was supposed to prevent them from walking, in addition to imposing a four-year contract limiting their salary increases to 1.5% or 2.5% per year depending on their income.

The Ford government also had included in its special law the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (commonly known as the notwithstanding clause) to block any legal challenge.

Laura Walton, president of the School Board Council of Unions, claimed victory midday Monday after Doug Ford's about-face.

“ You have proven that you can stand up to a bully.

—Laura Walton, President of the School Board Council of Unions

She does not rule out a resumption of the strike if the union is unable to reach a negotiated agreement with the government. But Walton adds that union members are looking for a negotiated settlement.

CUPE National President Mark Hancock, who was also at the media briefing on Monday along with other union leaders , also praised the resistance of education workers, saying they had forced the government to “give in”.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he's ready to “put some water in his wine.”

Earlier Monday, Premier Doug Ford defended his special law at a press briefing, saying the government had “no “other choice”.

He said he was nevertheless ready to offer “more help to low-income workers” in exchange for ending the strike. He called his offer “a huge outstretched hand.”

In a tweet, he applauds CUPE's decision to return to the bargaining table to reach a “fair deal for students, parents, workers and taxpayers”.

“I am ready to water down my wine. But they must do the same. »

— Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

Mr. Ford also shoots an arrow at the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, who had criticized its use of the notwithstanding clause. We had the right to use it, responds Mr. Ford, accusing Mr. Trudeau of having targeted Ontario in particular.

Beginning of the Twitter widget. Skip widget? End of Twitter widget. Back to top of widget?

The Leader of the Official Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, New Democrat Peter Tabuns, is calling on Doug Ford to immediately recall MPs to the House to scrap the special law and negotiate a contractual agreement that provides fair compensation to workers of education.

“It is in the hands of the Prime Minister to resolve this conflict.

— Peter Tabuns, Interim Leader of the NDP

Greens leader Mike Schreiner says the government's attempt to “bully” CUPE has “failed miserably”.

“There has never been a justification for using the notwithstanding provision to deny workers their right to collective bargaining.

—Mike Schreiner, Leader of the Green Party

Striking school support workers demonstrate again Monday outside Queen's Park in Toronto.

Minister Lecce had also turned last week to the Labor Relations Commission to have the work stoppage declared illegal and to be able to impose fines on the strikers, as provided for in the special law, of up to x27;at $4,000 per individual for each day of the strike ($500,000 for their union).

The Labor Relations Board is due to render its decision on Monday after hearing the parties during hearings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

CUPE said Friday's work stoppage was not an illegal strike, but a political protest. The Union argued that the government had imposed a collective agreement on its members and had suspended their right to strike in addition to blocking any legal recourse by invoking the notwithstanding provision of the Charter.

The Union said over the weekend that its members would not return to work until Premier Ford and his Minister of Education canceled their special law.

Union leaders from CUPE-Quebec were to take part in the demonstration Monday in front of the Ontario Legislative Assembly in Toronto “as a sign of solidarity with the workers front line education”.

According to a press release from CUPE-Québec, this is the first time in 50 years that the union has supported pressure tactics outside Quebec.

The Ford government must also negotiate with the teachers' unions to renew their collective agreements.

With information from CBC

Previous Article
Next Article