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“Discouraging” Says CUPE’s OBSCU President On Education Workers Negotiations With Education Ministry

By Katie Nicholls Aug 31, 2022 | 8:07 AM

Phil Roeder / CC

The province says they’ve made offers, CUPE says Ontario isn’t respecting the workers.

Laura Walton is the President of CUPE’s Ontario’s School Board Council of Unions and spoke to Acadia News about how talks are going with the province on a new contract for education workers like custodians, librarians and other non-teacher staff.

Walton said “I think the negotiation process is going slowly. There is a piece that would’ve allowed us to start bargaining in March, but the Ministry wasn’t interested in putting that in place. We served notice to bargain the minute we were able to. That was almost 90 days ago.”

Walton also outlined that CUPE has provided full availability to the province to meet and talk, saying in the last 90 days the provincial government has only offered nine days, and in the next 60 days they’ve only offered seven days. She calls it discouraging.

The province has proposed a 2% pay increase for workers earning less than $40,000 and a 1.25% increase for those over that mark.

The union, which represents librarians, custodians and administrative staff, sought an increase of $3.25 per hour for it’s 55,000 members.

Other demands include designated early childhood educators in every kindergarten class, no matter class size, and minimum staffing standards in schools.


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