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DDSB, local CUPE division, ratify their collective bargaining agreements

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

DURHAM: The Durham District School Board has ratified agreements reached with bargaining units for the school board's Educational Assistants, Custodial Maintenance, Continuing Education staff, and Office, Clerical and Technical staff.

The ratification of these deals was announced on Tuesday, June 6th. These staff members were represented by CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 218.

"These new agreements recognize the invaluable contributions of our support staff and administrative personnel in shaping the educational journey of our students," DDSB Board Chair Donna Edwards said, in a statement. "These [agreements] showcase the power of working together to achieve common goals and will benefit everyone in our school community by helping to foster an environment of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement."

In total, the DDSB employs 10,000 staff members, and the board has 136 elementary and secondary schools and learning centres.

A statement from CUPE Local 218 explained the ratification process. "CUPE education workers, part of eight different Local 218 bargaining units, voted to ratify their local agreements between May 28th and June 5th. Durham District School Board (DDSB) ratified its four local collective agreements with CUPE education workers on June 5th, and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) is expected to consider a motion to ratify its four tentative agreements with CUPE workers at its next regularly scheduled meeting of trustees on June 19th. Once the local portion of the collective agreements are ratified, Durham education workers will receive the $1 per hour wage increase they negotiated for the 2022-2023 school year retroactive to September 1st, 2022 and the two Political Action days repayment."

CUPE Local 218 was one of many unions to protest the Ontario government's Bill 28, which was later repealed.

"We're proud to have made gains on violence prevention, BMS training, job security, rights for casual employees, prep. time, and health and safety in this round of local bargaining for the workers who are the backbone of Durham's schools," Dennis Gibbs, the President of CUPE Local 218 said, in a press release.

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