Schools: the Ford government wants to impose a collective agreement

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Éschools: the Ford government wants to impose a collective agreement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents support workers in Ontario schools.

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce is due to introduce special legislation Monday to prevent any strikes starting Friday by 55,000 school support workers.

The province must impose a four-year contract on these teaching assistants, janitors and administrative workers until 2026, confirms Mr. Lecce's office, which did not give further details.

Minister says special law is needed to keep students in class for the whole school year.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce is due to table a draft law to prevent any Friday walkout in schools.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents support workers, accuses the Ford government of negotiating in bad faith and gave a possible strike notice for Friday on Sunday.

The two parties do not agree at all on the salary question, in particular.

The province is now offering annual increases of 2.5% for union members earning less than $43,000 and 1.5% for others (compared to its initial offer of 2 % for employees earning less than $40,000 and 1.25% for others).

CUPE continues to demand increases of 11.7%.

The collective agreement for these education workers expired on August 31.

Laura Walton, president of the Ontario School Board Council of Unions, on Sunday called Minister Lecce's special law threat “a slap in the face of all workers,” saying she is ready to return to the bargaining table on Monday.

The Ford government is also continuing its contract talks with the four teachers' unions in the province for the renewal of their collective agreements.

The former Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty in 2012-2013 imposed a contract of employment on teachers who refused to accept a salary freeze.

After a legal challenge to Law 115, the teachers' unions had however won their case before the Court superior in 2016.

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