Ontario's Education Workers Just Voted 96.5% In Favour Of Strike & Here's What It Means
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced on Monday that 96.5% of Ontario education workers who cast a ballot have now voted in favour of a strike.
According to Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU), in the case a strike takes place, it will be in the hopes of securing a "decent pay increase" after what it says has been a decade of wage cuts, in addition to improving staffing and service security.
The workers' central bargaining committee is also calling on the Ford government to return to the bargaining table on October 6, 2022.
"We have proposals on the table to settle this round of contract negotiations – proposals that are reasonable, necessary, and affordable," said Walton.
"This vote is about education workers across Ontario demonstrating our resolve to stand behind those proposals and fight for a decent pay increase after ten years of real wage cuts and for the staffing levels and service security that students need," she added.
While the CUPE vote doesn't guarantee a strike will happen, it aims to send a strong message to the Ontario government's alleged underfunding of education, which it criticized for "undervaluing and undermining" public education.
The strike vote was held from September 23 to October 2, 2022, with the Union stating that over 80% of its 55,000 education worker members voted during this period.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce opposed the idea of a strike on social media, arguing that his team will stand up to ensure all kids learn-in class without disruption, right to June.
"100% of parents want their children in class. We will stand up to ensure all kids learn in class without disruption, right to June. Because it's about the kids, right??" he tweeted.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.