Ontario Education Workers Have Voted In Favour Of A New Contract & Here's What It Means

A deal has finally been reached.

CUPE-OSBCU President Laura Walton. Right: Ontario education workers on strike.

CUPE-OSBCU President Laura Walton. Right: Ontario education workers on strike.

After months of negotiations with the Ontario government, the province's 55,000 education workers have voted in favour of a new contract.

The Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) confirmed Monday morning that 73% of its workers voted for the new deal that gives them a $1 an hour raise each year for 4 years, or 3.59% annually, for the average worker.

"It has a been a long road to get here," said CUPE-OSBCU president Laura Walton as she reflected on the 170 days of negotiations. Including a two-day walkout by education workers in November that forced many schools across Ontario to close, as well as the legislation introduced by the Ford government that made their strike action illegal.


CUPE education workers have reached a deal with the Ontario government after 170 days of negotiations. 73% voted in favour of the 4-year collective agreement which includes a 3.59% wage increase. #cupe #onpoli #news #ontario #torontonews #greenscreen

"We stood our ground. We stared down this government," Walton said. "We shook this province with our protests."

The union said a record number of its members voted participated in the ratification vote.

In all, 73% (or 30,330) voted yes and 27% (or 11,229) voted no.

"For the first time in a decade, education workers have achieved a collective agreement that did not impose terms through legislation," said the OSBCU in a statement.

Walton said at a news conference Monday she was proud of the deal but admitted she thought the results of the vote on the deal would've been closer.

"I was once told back in my early years that good negotiations mean that both parties walk away disappointed,” she said.

Walton confirmed she was one of the members who voted in favour of this new deal, despite having openly admitted she didn't like the deal when the Ford government first proposed it.

Stuart McGinn
Stuart McGinn was the Money Editor for Narcity Media and focused mainly on covering topics ranging from personal finance, to real estate, and careers. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.