CUPE Strike Averted
Public Relations Officer
Federation of Canadian Secondary Students | Fédération des élèves du secondaire au Canada
On Sunday evening, a tentative deal between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the provincial government was reached, avoiding a strike hours before the midnight deadline.
CUPE had declared plans to strike commencing Monday, October 7th, if negotiations were not settled with the provincial government.
The contract for 55,000 education employees represented by CUPE expired on August 31st. Contract negotiations were underway until October 29th, when the union announced a work-to-rule campaign. Affected employees included but not limited to office administrators, clerical staff, special education assistants and custodians.
Several school boards across Ontario announced plans to close down all schools beginning Monday due to concerns regarding the safety of students. Parents were encouraged by school boards to make alternative arrangements for their children due to anticipated school closures for an indefinite period of time.
However, the strike was averted due to successful negotiations settled on Sunday evening, allowing students across Ontario to attend school.
As per the tentative agreement, which must be approved by CUPE members, employees shall receive wage increases by one percent each year during the three-year period of the agreement.
Furthermore, the tentative agreement established a standardized medical form employees must complete to access days through their short-term disability plan in an effort to address absteensim.
The union also successfully negotiated for the restoration of instrumental government grants that will reinstate between 1,300 and 1,500 jobs. Additional investments in government funding were restored to aid educational assistants working with special needs students, as well as clerical workers and custodian cuts.
CUPE members must ratify the agreement and the union has stated that members are expected to vote on the proposed agreements before the end of the month.
The Federation of Canadian Secondary Students | Fédération des élèves du secondaire au Canada (FCSS-FESC) stands with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members who are actively working towards creating a safe and supportive environment conducive to learning for students.