Union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers announces November 21 strike – WSWS | Team Cansler

Are you an education worker in Ontario? Take up the fight against the Ford government’s attempt, with the support of its partners in the union bureaucracy, to push through pay cut deals for school staff. To contact the Ontario Education Workers Rank-and-File Committee, email ontedrfc@gmail.com or fill out the form at the bottom of this article.

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The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has given 55,000 school administrators, educational assistants, early childhood education educators and administrative staff the required five days to strike across Ontario beginning Monday, November 21. The announcement comes just over a week after CUPE, in alliance with the Canadian Labor Congress, Ontario Federation of Labor, Unifor and other major unions, ended a two-day workers’ strike that garnered strong popular support and quickly grew into a general strike moved towards

At a press conference Wednesday morning, Laura Walton, chief negotiator for CUPE-affiliated Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), said after several days of talks at the negotiating table, no agreement had been reached. However, she acknowledged that the negotiating committee had reached a wage deal with the government that would mean a huge real wage cut for the mostly low-paid workers. Walton revealed the far-right Progressive Conservative government has offered a $1 hourly increase for each year of the contract, equivalent to a 3.59 percent annual wage increase. This means that the current inflation rate, which is 7 percent and food is over 10 percent, will not even come close.

“Let me be clear, that’s a win for the workers,” Walton claimed of the wage offer. Basic support staff would see it differently, accounting for less than a third of the original demand for an 11.7 percent annual wage increase, an extremely modest demand due to the double-digit pay cut in education support staff over the past decade.

Striking Ontario education workers protest in Toronto on November 4. [Photo: WSWS]

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