KAWARTHA LAKES-55,000 education workers across the province have ratified a tentative agreement with the Ministry of Education.
A total of 41,559 out of 55,000 frontline CUPEeducation workers cast ballots, and 30,330 –73% – voted “yes” to accept the tentative agreement that was reached by their central bargaining committee on November 20.
The online ratification vote began Thursday, November 24, and ended Sunday, December 4, with 76% of frontline education workers participating.
“My coworkers and I stood up to the Ford government to get a forced contract off our backs as part of the repeal of the anti-worker Bill 28,” said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU).
Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce said he was happy with the result.
“Since negotiations began, we have been guided by the belief that kids should be in class. We are so pleased we’ve been able to reach an agreement that has been overwhelmingly ratified by the members that keeps kids in classrooms and preserves the learning experience, like clubs and extracurriculars.
This collective agreement is the first in 10 years to be freely bargained without being legislated according to Walton.
“For the last week and a half, 55,000 frontline education workers considered whether the tentative agreement their bargaining committee negotiated is acceptable, and the majority said ‘yes,’” Walton explained. “Because we stood up for fairness and freedom, refusing to be bullied anymore, we ended up with an agreement that’s free of concessions and we more than doubled the wage increase the Ford government tried to impose on us.”