About 55,000 education workers in Ontario, such as custodians, early childhood educators and administrative staff, will be on strike starting Nov. 3, the Canadian Union of Public Employees announced Monday.
CUPE did not say whether education workers would join a full strike – which would likely result in school closures – or start with a strike-to-management or take other jobs during that time.
Discussions are ongoing with the help of a mediator, three days of trading are scheduled between Monday and Wednesday. In the last round of contract negotiations, in 2019, CUPE and the government reached a last-minute agreement the day before the workers went on strike.
On Monday, the union announced on its account for the Ontario Council of School Unions on Twitter that the referee had issued what is known as “the board’s silence,” in requested by CUPE on October 7, saying that the information is problematic.
“It is important as workers, we use this time to build power among ourselves, students, families and our communities,” the union wrote in the update, urging from its members to complete forms for weapon payment.
The report establishes a 17-day count for the union to be in strike action, although CUPE still wants to give five days’ notice of industrial action.
CUPE is seeking annual wage increases of 11.7 percent, and the state has responded by offering a two percent annual increase for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 percent for all other employees.
Education workers have made several other demands, including twice the regular pay, 30 minutes of paid preparation time per day for education assistants and ECEs, increased benefits and professional development for all employees.
Laura Walton, president of the Ontario School Board Council of CUPE of Unions, said their demands are for “student success and good practices.”
“We began mediation this morning, and we remain committed to reaching a negotiated agreement that will guarantee service improvements for students and help solve school boards’ problems with hiring and retain qualified workers, and secure a significant pay increase at the lowest possible rate of pay. long-term workers,” he said in a written statement.
In a statement to CBC Toronto, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Monday: “We hope that CUPE will bring reasonable proposals that target students who live in class, not asking for nearly a 50 percent increase in price.
“Like parents, we strongly believe that students have the right to be in the classroom to pursue their education and are disappointed to hear the education union to assure parents of their desire to kill children and their families.”
The four major teachers unions are at different points in the negotiation process with the government after contracts expire on August 31.