CUPE tells Ontario-based educators to accept initial contract offer | Rare Techy


The Canadian Public Employees Union is now asking thousands of Ontario-based educators to accept the Ford government’s initial contract offer, contradicting earlier comments by a key member of the negotiating team.

When the union agreed Nov. 20 to accept a four-year contract offer from the Ford government — narrowly avoiding a planned strike that would have shut down schools across the province — the bargaining committee signaled its unease with the deal.

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Ontario educators called off strike with union members to vote on tentative deal

“I don’t like this deal,” said Laura Walton of the Ontario School Boards Union Council, which represents 55,000 custodians, librarians, early childhood educators and office workers.

“As a mother, I don’t like this deal. As a worker, I don’t like this deal. As president of OSBCU, I understand why this contract is on the table. I think it falls short, and I think it’s terrible that we live in a world that doesn’t see the need to provide necessary services for children.

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Walton’s soft approval of the contract raised concerns within the union about whether members would accept or reject the offer during a nearly two-week ratification vote, the results of which will be announced Dec. 6, the union said.

However, on Tuesday, CUPE national president Mark Hancock urged members to vote in favor of the tentative agreement, saying the negotiating committee had “guaranteed everything that could be guaranteed”.

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Ontario educators will vote Thursday on a tentative agreement, the union said

“The OSBCU Bargaining Committee was able to reach a breakthrough wage settlement after more than a decade of statutory wage restraint,” Hancock said in a memo to members.

“No deal contains everything we’re looking for.”

While Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the deal brought “additional benefits” to both sides, government sources told Global News the deal was the same offer that was presented to the union before the five-day strike notice was announced on November 15.

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CUPE, which is calling it one of the “toughest bargaining rounds in the country,” said the deal would give members a $1-an-hour wage increase, giving the lowest-income workers a 16.8 percent increase over four years.

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“While you were unable to achieve everything you sought in this round — namely, funding for additional, much-needed services — we recommend that this preliminary agreement be agreed to with the bargaining committee,” Hancock said.

Earlier this month, CUPE workers staged a two-day strike after the province briefly introduced legislation that banned their work and imposed a contract for CUPE workers.

The Ford government repealed this legislation, an offer it made in exchange for CUPE ending the strike.

© 2022 Global News by Corus Entertainment Inc. department.


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