New Legislation Won't Stop Ontario's Education Workers From Striking & Here's What Happens Next

So, it continues.

Toronto Staff Writer
Stephen Leece. Right: CUPE leader.

Stephen Leece. Right: CUPE leader.

On Monday, Education Minister Stephen Leece introduced the Keeping Students in Class Act, legislation that hopes to lock Ontario education workers into a "four-year collective agreement" in response to a looming CUPE strike.

"We are disappointed that CUPE is refusing to compromise on their demand for a nearly 50 per cent increase in compensation, representing a price tag close to $ 19 billion if extended across the sector," Leece said in a statement.

"CUPE has now made the decision to strike, putting their own self interest ahead of Ontario's nearly two million children, who deserve to stay in class learning," he added.

The Act will go as far as to utilize the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to override the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in an effort to relieve the government of "legal challenges, which may create destabilizing uncertainty for students and families."

CUPE immediately rejected the deal, saying their workers would walk off the job on Friday, November 4, 2022, regardless of what the government does, in a "province-wide political protest."

According to MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam, the move could see CUPE members face fines of up to $4,000 per day, with the union itself being fined a total of $500,000 daily.

At the moment, both groups remain open to negotiations, which will come to an end one way or another on Friday, November 4, 2022.

"The government will continue labour bargaining with Ontario's other education unions to reach fair agreements for workers while ensuring students remain in class without disruption," the news release concludes.

Patrick John Gilson
Toronto Staff Writer
Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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