Workers need more union leaders, says Doug Ford

Spread the love

The workers need more union leaders, says Doug Ford

Doug Ford defends his special bill at Queen's Park on November 1.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford defended his bill special on Tuesday and accused the school support workers union of turning down a “very reasonable” offer. Opposition parties believe the use of the notwithstanding clause is abusive.

The Ford government had summoned MPs to Queen's Park at 5 a.m. Tuesday to debate its special bill to prevent a Friday strike by 55,000 teachers' aides, janitors and administrative workers, among others.

The Progressive Conservatives also want to impose on these union members a four-year collective agreement that limits wage increases to 2.5% per year for employees earning less than $43,000 and 1.5 % for others.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is demanding increases of 11.7% because its members are the lowest paid workers in education, according to it.

Premier Ford says he is “advocating for parents and students” with his Special Act, to ensure “students stay in class”.

“We're not going to line the pockets of CUPE leaders. I think workers need new leadership. »

— Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario

In October, support workers gave their union a strong strike mandate if talks failed contractual.

At midday, the opposition at Queen's Park did not fail to attack the decision of the Ford government.

This law is a big piece. It doesn' was not written overnight. It must have taken months to write, says Davenport NDP MP Marit Stiles.

She believes imposing a collective agreement will only push support workers to quit.

I think from the start the government planned to pit unions and parents against each other. But I think he is wrong and that parents care about the fate of those who will clean schools and take care of their children, she insists.

Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser denounces misuse of Canadian Charter's notwithstanding clause.

[This government] is breaking all relationships of trust with all unions, says he.

For the leader of the Greens, Mike Schreiner, this is the definition of a negotiation in bad faith. It is absolutely not necessary.

We can debate for hours [in the House] to slow down the process, but the government has the majority. I invite Ontarians to be heard, he says.

CUPE announced that its members would not be at work on Friday, even if the special law were passed.

The Toronto English Public School Board (TDSB), Ontario's largest board, has warned parents that its schools will be closed on Friday due to the day of union protest.

The MonAvenir Catholic School Board had already announced on Monday that schools would be closed, but now specifies that students will follow distance learning in asynchronous mode.

In a letter sent to families, the Peel District School Board also says its schools will be closed on Friday. Classes will be held remotely asynchronously while teachers and support staff will remain available remotely. Daycare centers will be closed and after-school activities cancelled.

On the other hand, the Nouvelon Catholic School Board says its schools will remain open, although it is aware the strike will affect its janitorial and maintenance staff.

We recommend that parents to communicate with the daycare center of their child's school to check if it will be open, however, specifies the press release.

It is not known at this time whether the union members will continue their walkout on Monday. Under the special bill, CUPE and its members face fines of up to $4,000 per person and $500,000 for the union in the event of a work stoppage. The union said it would cover any fines.

According to a CBC source familiar with the matter, the government would be prepared to return to the bargaining table if the mediator so asked. He would be ready to receive a new offer from the union, but hopes that the strike threat will be lifted to resume dialogue.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce had however said Monday that the doors were closed to any negotiations.

In addition, the Ford government has made it clear that it will use the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter if the union tries to challenge the special law in court. This clause allows the government to ignore portions of the Charter for five years.

With information from Mathieu Simard

Previous Article
Next Article