TORONTO, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The central bargaining committee for Ontario’s lowest-paid frontline education workers will enter into mediation with the Ontario government and Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) on October 17.
Respected mediator William Kaplan, who helped this group of workers and the Ford government reach a settlement in 2019, will assist the parties as they try to negotiate a new collective agreement.
“We want to reach a negotiated agreement that will guarantee service improvements for students, help solve school boards’ problems hiring and keeping qualified employees, and secure a significant wage increase for the lowest-paid frontline education workers that’s long overdue,” said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU).
“My coworkers across Ontario are expecting to see an offer that shows this government understands we’ve taken forced pay cuts for the last decade and now our wages are being eroded even more by high inflation,” Walton explained. “We welcome the assistance of a mediator to help us get a deal done that meets the needs of students, parents, and frontline workers.”
“We still have proposals on the table that are reasonable, necessary, and affordable,” added Walton. “As premier, Doug Ford has the power and resources to accept our proposals for student success and good jobs any time.”
At workers’ request, one more bargaining date – October 19 – has been booked in addition to the two that were already set for next week: October 17 and 18.
Education workers are repeating their call for more bargaining dates to be scheduled as soon as possible. The CUPE-OSBCU central bargaining committee, made up of workers from across the province, is committed to stay at the table as long as more dates are offered and movement towards an acceptable agreement is made.
The Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) unites 55,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) who work in the public, Catholic, English, and French school systems throughout Canada’s largest province. OSBCU members are educational assistants, early childhood educators, school library workers, child and youth workers, administrative assistants, secretaries, custodians and tradespeople, instructors, nutrition service workers, audio-visual technologists, information technology professionals, school safety monitors, cafeteria workers, social workers, and more.