Canada: Ontario education workers reach deal with province, averting Monday school strike - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Ontario education workers reach deal with province, averting Monday school strike

09:05  07 october  2019
09:05  07 october  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Education workers to begin work-to-rule after negotiations break off

  Education workers to begin work-to-rule after negotiations break off Some 55,000 education workers in Ontario are set to embark on work-to-rule on Monday after last-minute contract talks failed to reach a deal. The decision on a legal strike position comes at the end of two days of last-minute contract talks between CUPE, the province and the Council of Trustees' Associations in an effort to avoid a work-to-rule campaign.

A potential strike involving 55,000 education support workers in Ontario has been averted following a late night deal between the province and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The tentative three year agreement means schools across the province are expected to be open as

CUPE has given notice that the 55,000 education workers it represents in Ontario schools will go on strike Monday if no contract deal is reached by then That notice was issued just two days into a work -to-rule campaign. A strike by education workers would see the cancellation of classes and all

a man wearing a suit and tie: Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said classes should go ahead as normal on Monday after the government and CUPE education workers reached a tentative labour deal late Sunday. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said classes should go ahead as normal on Monday after the government and CUPE education workers reached a tentative labour deal late Sunday. Some 55,000 education workers in Ontario will not strike Monday after successful last-minute contract talks with the provincial government, according to Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing a number of education support workers across the province, reached a tentative deal on Sunday evening — a move that should allow public schools to open as normal. 

Ontario education workers prepare to begin full strike Monday

  Ontario education workers prepare to begin full strike Monday TORONTO — Thousands of education workers across Ontario are preparing to go on strike Monday. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents 55,000 education workers, says it has given the legally required five day's notice to begin a strike. The workers, including custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators, started a work-to-rule campaign this week. Custodians have stopped cleaning hallways and emptying garbage cans outside schools, clerical workers have stopped finding replacements for absent staff, and education workers have stopped working overtime.

On Friday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the province "is committed to reaching a deal with CUPE Peter Joshua, director of education at the Peel District School Board, said that board will also try to If a strike is averted , operations may not completely get back to normal Monday , but "we will

to reaching a deal with a union representing support workers and averting a strike while thousands of parents brace for school closings on Monday as was a strike by CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, which represents 55,000 custodians, secretaries and educational -support workers .

Lecce said he expects tonight's deal means students across Ontario will be able to go to school as normal on Monday morning following the "positive outcome" of the negotiations.

"Parents can rest easy knowing that the government worked tirelessly to ensure their children remain in the classroom, where they belong," Lecce said.

He added that the deal represented "incremental success" as contract talks with the major teachers unions continue.

The union said it was able to secure modest wage increases and maintain its existing sick leave plan — a sticking point for the school trustees.

In a statement released shortly after the decision was made public, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government will "continue to negotiate in good faith with all of our bargaining partners."

Many Ontario boards will close schools Monday if education workers strike

  Many Ontario boards will close schools Monday if education workers strike TORONTO — Hundreds of schools across Ontario are set to close their doors on Monday if the province's education workers go through with a threatened strike, potentially shutting more than half a million students out of the classroom. The Toronto District School Board was among those to issue a notice to parents Thursday informing them that if a labour disruption occurs, schools will not open to start the week.

We are working as hard as we can to get a deal done. \ A strike by education workers would see the cancellation of many classes and all recreational and after- school programs starting Monday . "We represent education workers as well.… Not only are we out in solidarity and support, but what

TORONTO — Hundreds of schools across Ontario are set to close their doors on Monday if the province 's education workers go through with a threatened strike , potentially shutting more than half a million students out of the classroom.The Toronto District School Board was among those to issue

"Our government worked tirelessly at the bargaining table to achieve this goal and as a result two million students will remain in the classroom where they belong," he said. 

Laura Walton, president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions, said the deal with the government includes a reinvestment in schools that will see more jobs return to the province. Walton said that investment is around $20 million, and thanked the government for opening the "piggy bank."

"Thanks for opening the piggy bank and allowing us to get the services that we needed for our students," she said. 

Walton says those who have benefited the most from this decision aren't workers, but students and parents. 

"I think the students and families were the victors in this, we're just the people supporting them," she said. 

Walton said her union will hold ratification votes with the goal of finalizing the new collective agreement by the end of the month. In the meantime, the work-to-rule campaign by CUPE's education workers, which include clerical staff, education assistants and custodians, will end. 

Union, Ontario government to resume bargaining to head off school strike

  Union, Ontario government to resume bargaining to head off school strike TORONTO — The Ontario government and a union that represents thousands of education workers say they are to resume talks today to head off a looming strike at the province's schools. The Canadian Union of Public Employees has said its 55,000 members plan to walk off the job on Monday after holding a work-to-rule campaign this past week. Several Ontario school boards, including the three largest, have said they will have to close schools if the labour disruption goes ahead.They say the closures are necessary to ensure student safety, which they say would be compromised without CUPE workers on sight.

Public school employees, including education assistants, clerical staff, trades workers , bus drivers and others, have been without a contract for more than a year and schools in some parts of the province were bracing for a strike that could have occurred as early as Monday .

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecee says his government can still strike a deal with CUPE If the sides are unable to reach an agreement, most Ontario school boards say they'll be unable to open their schools on Monday . My mission is to avert a strike by getting a deal this weekend.

Full terms of the deal were not immediately made available.

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) says terms of the tentative deal are to be kept confidential until ratification. 

"OPSBA will continue to negotiate with other unions representing teachers and education workers, with the best interests of students in mind," said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham in a news release Sunday. 

Walton apologized on Sunday for how long it took to be able to provide an update.

"Believe me this process has taken longer than I hoped it would," she said. "I do regret the disruption to your lives."

Had the province and the union failed to reach an agreement, many school boards around the province planned to close schools entirely. Parents were also warned to expect closures and disruptions of recreational and after-school programs.

While the dust settles for education workers, the unions representing Ontario's teachers are in the midst of bargaining with the Ford government and the province's school boards.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said Ford must reverse his government's cuts to education now that school closures have been "narrowly avoided." 

"Now more than ever, Ontarians recognize the importance of our education system and the vital role that our education workers play," she said in a statement released Sunday. 

The negotiations are happening as the government has ordered school boards to start increasing class sizes, moving to an average for high school from 22 to 28 over four years. Class sizes for Grades 4 to 8 will increase by one student per classroom, from 23 to 24.

‘Walk-in’ protests over education ‘cuts’ to occur at public schools across Ontario, groups say .
Ontario Families for Public Education said the rallies scheduled for Thursday are being held to "protest education funding cuts and to celebrate the incredible gains made for our kids by CUPE education workers in their recent contract negotiations."The action comes on the heels of a victory for the union. On Sunday, CUPE announced it had reached a tentative deal with the province for 55,000 educational support workers.

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