As announced by various schoolboards all across the province of Ontario, Canada’s largest workers union, CUPE, has formally announced that their education workers will strike this Friday, November 4th.
This comes after weeks of unsuccessful contract negotiations between the union and the Ontario government.
Once again students will be shuttered out of the classroom for the duration of the strike.
Those same students have suffered at the hands of rolling classroom closures for two full school years throughout the COVID-19 response.
Remarkably, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce is finally taking a stand for students’ right to access an education and urges CUPE to cancel the strike:
Since CUPE has refused, the province of Ontario under Premier Doug Ford is waging to introduce powerful and unprecedented legislation to prevent the strike.
In a statement, CUPE’s National President Mark Hancock said the Ford government is “invoking the Notwithstanding Clause – because they know that this legislation violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
An anonymous source, who is an educational assistant, informed me “the union is prepared to pay all of our fines for striking.” This could result in up to hundreds of millions of dollars of fines per day.
This comes as CUPE apparently cuts its wage demand from 11% down to 6% per year. The Ford government is offering 2.5%.
We're revamping our petition at BackToClass.ca to urge all parties to keep children in school.