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HomeNewsCUPE Warns Of Strike On Monday November 21 As Talks Break Down...

CUPE Warns Of Strike On Monday November 21 As Talks Break Down With Ministry Of Education

KAWARTHA LAKES-Talks have broken down between the province of Ontario and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and CUPE has given notice today that they are in a legal strike action (full withdrawal of services) as of Monday, November 21.

In TLDSB, CUPE members include secretaries, clerks, technicians, custodial and maintenance staff, and educational assistants.

“These members are critical in keeping our school buildings and sites safe for students, not only for the cleanliness of our buildings, but for the support students receive each day. We respect and value our CUPE staff and are hopeful an agreement is met before Monday.” said Wes Hahn Director of Education.

CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) central bargaining committee, negotiating for 55,000 frontline education workers say they were able to reach a middle ground with the Ford government and the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) on wages but the government refused to invest in other services precipitating this escalation.

“From the beginning, we’ve been focused on improved jobs for education workers and improved services for students. For us, there is no one without the other,” said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE-OSBCU. “It’s incredibly disappointing that the Ford government categorically refused to put money on the table to give students the type of learning environment they need.”

Ontario students are dealing with significant learning loss from the pandemic school clsures over the past three years.

“If this government was serious about their plan to catch up, they’d listen to the workers who do the most to support learners and they’d put an early childhood educator in every kindergarten class and provide more students with the direct support of an educational assistant,” said Walton. “We’ve heard from parents desperate for these improvements. We felt their support at our protests across the province. And we’re not going to turn our backs on students, parents, and families.”

The province says it offered over $335 million over four years.

“We are disappointed that only a few short days after talks restarted, CUPE has filed notice to once again shut down classrooms. since resuming talks we’ve put forward multiple improved offers that would have added hundreds of millions of dollars across the sector, especially for low-income workers. CUPE has rejected all these offers” Stated Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education.

Should there be a full strike on Monday, TLDSB says school buildings and worksites will be closed to students. More information will be sent in the coming days.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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