The Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), in cooperation with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), has issued a press release with a strike notice for November 21.
This means that Ontario school children will be shuttered from their classrooms. Again.
A statement from the OSBCU Bargaining Committee notes that the “difficult decision was made to serve the 5-day (SIC) notice of strike” after “attempts to achieve a freely negotiated settlement” have broken down.
It further reads that they “remain committed to reaching a fair settlement prior to November 21.”
Days earlier, the Ontario government repealed Bill 28 – a controversial piece of legislation that was introduced utilizing the “notwithstanding clause” to keep workers on the job and children in the classroom.
This was repealed at the request of CUPE but no deal had been reached.
CUPE began contract negotiations in August asking for an 11.7% yearly wage increase for workers over four years, citing years of neglected wage increases and unprecedented inflation.
The Ontario government, under Education Minister Stephen Lecce, has offered a two-tier wage increase. As reported by mainstream media, the latest offer was 3.5% annual increase for lower paid workers and 2% for higher salary earners.
In response to this attention, CUPE and OSBCU issued guidance to limit media comments. They have further stated that they will not settle for a two-tier settlement.
This comes on the tail of Ontario school children being shuttered out of the classroom for the better part of two years in what was the longest and harshest school closure in all of North America.
Sign our petition at BackToClass.ca.