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Premier Doug Ford speaks at Queen's Park on Bill 28. Nov. 1, 2022

Ford Points Fingers at Union for Labour Dispute

By Randy Thoms Nov 2, 2022 | 8:35 AM

The Ford government continues to face heat over its controversial legislation that would prevent education workers from striking and impose a new four-year deal on them.

It was Premier Doug Ford taking questions from the opposition at Queen’s Park on Tuesday.

Premier Doug Ford points the blame at the union leadership for the dispute.

“We want to take care of the front-line, hard-working educational workers, and we’ll always have their backs. But do you know something? We aren’t going to feather the nest of the head of CUPE,” says Ford.

Ford says they put a very fair offer on the table, but the union continues to charge ahead with strike action scheduled for this Friday.

Under the bill, workers would be imposed a 2.5 per cent wage increase in each of the four years.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees wants a $3.25 an hour wage increase.

“I want to be clear: We will never, ever waver from our position that students remain in class, catching up with their learning, surrounded by friends, with a full school experience, including extracurricular activities,” says Ford.

The opposition argues the proposed legislation violates the workers’ rights to fair collective bargaining.

The NDP Interim leader Peter Tabuns says it also disrespects workers.

“Bill 28 not only disrespects education workers but also tramples their collective bargaining rights by imposing a contract, denying them the right to strike and levying fines against those who dare defy the Premier’s orders. This government’s use of the “notwithstanding” clause is massive overreach and a clear message to workers that their concerns just don’t matter,” says Tabuns.

“I want students back in school in clean, safe classrooms, in a stable, supported learning environment,” says Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner. “That will not happen if the government continues to attack the charter rights of the lowest-paid education workers in this province, people trying to survive on $39,000 a year.”

Debate on the bill continues at Queen’s Park today.



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