Ontario Independent

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Ontario’s government and the educations’ union have started contract talks

Contract negotiations between the government of Ontario and the educators' union have started

Key Takeaways:

  • According to the 55,000 Ontario educators represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, negotiations began on Monday morning as anticipated.
  • After Premier Doug Ford’s Conservative government was re-elected in June, Stephen Lecce, the education minister, resumed the initiative.

The Ontario government and a significant school union have began bargaining.

Negotiations reportedly started on Monday morning as planned, according to the 55,000 Ontario educators represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Due to the expiration of current contracts on August 31, education unions will engage in contract negotiations this summer.

This month, the central bargaining committee for the Ontario School Boards Council of Unions of CUPE expressed its desire to negotiate a contract that provides greater resources for students and “ensures that workers’ income is no longer being eroded.”

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According to a July 7 announcement and a note from the assistant deputy minister of education, the province is “contemplating” replacing the current three-year terms for collective agreements in the education sector with four-year terms.

The document requested input from the bargaining agencies on the choices of contracts lasting two, four, or five years and claimed that the four-year term would provide for more stability while kids catch up after COVID-19 disruptions.

Education workers are focused on obtaining a deal that enhances students’ educational experience and makes life more affordable for workers, according to CUPE, which suggested that changing the contract terms would be advantageous to the Progressive Conservatives’ campaign for re-election in 2026.

Contract negotiations between the government of Ontario and the educators' union have started.
Contract negotiations between the government of Ontario and the educators’ union have started. Image from CBC News

Stephen Lecce, the education minister, has rejoined the project after the Conservative administration of Premier Doug Ford was re-elected in June.

Over the preceding four years, the government and the unions had a rocky relationship, leading teachers to conduct strikes and work-to-rule campaigns during the final round of negotiations.

Tensions were greatly influenced by Bill 124, legislation that limited pay increases for public sector employees to 1% annually.

Ford announced that teachers would receive a “greater than one percent” last month.

However, the premier also stated that he wants students to return to school and not lose out on extracurricular activities owing to labor disruptions.

Source: CTV News

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