Ontario education workers’ strike ends. What happens now?


The Ontario authorities has “blinked” and referred to as off laws that limits the power of 55,000 education staff within the province to legally strike.

With that, the top of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ (CUPE) Ontario School Board Council of Unions has mentioned that these staff will return to the job on Tuesday, successfully placing an finish to the job motion.

Now, the federal government and CUPE will return to the negoiating desk.

This is what happens subsequent.


Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, mentioned Monday that as a result of the federal government walked again Bill 28, education staff’ bargaining rights are “intact again.”

“This is just the beginning. We haven’t spent our leverage. Our leverage is just getting started,” Walton mentioned.

She mentioned the union will now return to the negotiating desk with “open minds” and “open hearts.”

“And we call on the government to do the exact same,” Walton mentioned.

CUPE-OSBCU president Laura Walton, proper, solutions a query as CUPE president Mark Hancock seems on throughout a press convention in Toronto on Monday Nov. 7, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

CUPE members have been with no collective settlement since Aug. 31 and the difficulty of pay stays on the coronary heart of the negotiations.

Those staff had been arguing for an annual 11.7 per cent wage improve over 4 years. The union mentioned final week that their newest supply was about half of what was initially proposed.

After negotiations fell aside, the federal government handed Bill 28 which invoked the however clause to limit staff’ proper to protest. This consequently locked members right into a deal that included a 2.5 per cent improve in wage for individuals who make lower than $43,000 yearly, and a 1.5 per cent improve for everybody else.

Following a two-day walkout, the Ford authorities provided to rescind that laws if CUPE agreed to finish their strike, which they did hours later at a information convention in Toronto.

CUPE National President Mark Hancock was in attendance at Monday’s information convention and referred to as Bill 28 a “direct threat to workers’ rights and to the Charter rights of all Canadians.”

“[Education workers] went out on a political protest. They brought their message and their anger to more than 100 sites across this province. They took on the Ford government and the government blinked,” he mentioned.



On Oct. 7, the union requested what’s referred to as a “no board” report which made clear their intention to strike after talks broke down on the negotiating desk.

A conciliator issued that report on Oct. 17 and put CUPE in authorized strike place as of Nov. 3.

The union doesn’t must re-request a “no board” report if it needs to strike once more, however must give a discover of 5 days of their intentions to take action.

“We are still in a legal position to strike, we would have to serve a five day notice that is what’s required. So no, we don’t have to reset the box,” Walton mentioned.

CUPE Ontario members and supporters wave indicators and flags as they reveal outdoors of the Queen’s Park Legislative Building in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston



Walton mentioned if the union chooses to take action, 55,000 of its staff may as soon as once more stroll off the job if talks with the federal government disintegrate “because that is the right of all workers in negotiation and in free collective bargaining.”



Premier Ford was requested on Monday, previous to CUPE’s announcement of their intentions to return to work, if he would pledge to not use the however clause or Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms once more in a labour dispute, however didn’t decide to a solution a technique or one other.

“I’m not going to answer hypothetical questions,” he mentioned.

Ford added that he “doesn’t like” utilizing Section 33 and referred to as CUPE’s first negotiating place “absolutely ridiculous.”

Ontario Premier Doug and Education Minister Stephen Lecce go away after a press convention at Queen’s Park in Toronto on Monday Nov. 7, 2022. FTHE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

For context, Ford beforehand used the however clause in June of 2021 to revive components of the Election Finances Act that had beforehand been declared unconstitutional, implementing a rule that third events may solely spend $600,000 on promoting within the 12 months earlier than an election is named.

Before that, in 2018, Ford had threatened to make use of the clause in when his authorities supposed to slash Toronto metropolis council seats throughout a municipal election. That try sparked outrage however the clause finally wasn’t invoked due to how a associated court docket course of unfolded.

With information from The Canadian Press


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