DAN CEARNS, The Standard
DURHAM/KAWARTHA LAKES: The Ontario government has avoided a second strike by Ontario CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) school workers, as a tentative bargaining agreement has been reached.
“Throughout these negotiations, our government’s focus has always been keeping students in the classroom without disruption,” a statement from Education Minister Stephen Lecce read on Sunday, November 20th. “I am pleased to formally announce the Crown, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, and the school board trustee associations, have reached a tentative agreement [which] keeps schools open so that kids can stay in class. I know this is welcomed news to all students, parents and workers alike, who now have the certainty they’ve been looking for.”
On Wednesday, November 16th, CUPE had served the government with a five-day strike notice, meaning if no deal was reached by the end of Sunday, their school employees would have returned to the picket line.
In a statement, CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) bargaining unit stated they will “be bringing a tentative agreement to the membership” for ratification votes and their members will now “be reporting to schools to continue supporting the students who we are proud to work with.”
CUPE school employees include secretaries, clerks, technicians, custodial and maintenance staff, and educational assistants.
These CUPE workers had previously held a province wide walkout on Friday, November 4th.