The provincial authorities is looking on the Ontario Labour Relations Board to formally declare a Friday walkout by tens of 1000’s of education staff illegal.
This comes because the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) representing these staff have mentioned their strike will proceed on Monday and past till a deal is reached with the Ford authorities.
Up to 55,000 education staff started picketing at MPPs’ places of work, and different authorities places of work and places throughout the province immediately.
LATEST: Ontario’s battle towards education staff over walkout to proceed at labour listening to
Education Minister Stephen Lecce instructed CP24 on Friday the federal government made the submission to the labour board a day earlier after the Keeping Students in Class Act was handed.
“We hope to hear again immediately or tomorrow doubtlessly, on the findings. In the meantime, we’re going to be utilizing all of the pressures and admittedly, all of the levers of the laws to get children again to college. We’ve set out a transparent expectation to our college boards, use each energy, each authority to open as many colleges for as many children as humanly potential,” he mentioned.
In the submission, Lecce alleged that CUPE and the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) “known as or approved or threatened to name or authorize an illegal strike.”
In addition, Lecce mentioned union representatives, together with President of the CUPE Ontario School Board Council Laura Walton and CUPE Ontario President Fred Hanh, “counselled, procured, supported, authorized, threatened, or encouraged” an illegal strike.
A labour board listening to acquired underway on Friday afternoon and choice is anticipated to be reached someday on Saturday.
CUPE National President Mark Hancock mentioned the union will battle for his or her members’ rights.
“CUPE’s legal counsel will be there to argue for our members’ right to protest the Ford government’s unconstitutional law, which strips workers of their fundamental rights,” Hancock said in a statement Friday.
Meanwhile, Walton said the protest will continue until a deal is reached or if their members decide otherwise.
“We will be out here and we call on Doug Ford and Stephen Lecce. Come talk to us. We’re more than willing to talk to you. It’s why we serve notice as early as possible 150 days ago, but we are not going to be bullied and we’re not going to have our rights taken away,” she told CP24 while protesting outside of Lecce’s constituency office in King City Friday morning.
Walton added that parents should have a contingency plan for their children in case the strike continues into next week.
Many school boards across the province had no option but to close their schools to in-person learning today and until job action concludes.
A spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) told CP24 Friday morning that the board is preparing to transition to remote learning if job action continues next week.
“Well we’re saying right now is that if job action does continue into next week, we will be moving as quickly as we can to synchronous live classroom remote learning obviously, as fast as we can. So that’s something that obviously we’d like to avoid and make sure that there’s an agreement in place before any further impact into next week. But if for some reason it does continue, we’ll be making those plans as quickly as possible,” Ryan Bird said.
“Today, as you know, we have asynchronous or non-live classroom instruction. It’s independent work at home for this one day, but again if it does extend into additional days next week we have to quickly be able to transition,” he added.
However, in a memo obtained by CTV News Toronto on Thursday, the Ministry of Education had asked “all school boards to implement contingency plans, where every effort is made to keep schools open for as many children as possible.”
THOUSANDS ATTEND RALLY AT QUEEN’S PARK
One of the biggest strike places was at Toronto’s Queen’s Park the place picketers began arriving round 7 a.m. for a full day of protesting.
Approximately 8-10,000 protesters have been seen on the rally and holding CUPE flags and indicators that mentioned “No Cuts to Education” and “I assist education staff.”
Ontario education staff strike in entrance of Queen’s Park on Nov. 4, 2022. (Brian Weatherhead/CTV News Toronto)
Many of the protesters mentioned they got here out to battle for a greater residing wage and extra assist from the federal government as the price of residing continues to rise within the province.
“We ought to get up for our rights and have the option to negotiate our freedom…We are solely asking for lifestyle,” a protester who recognized himself as Amar instructed CP24 at Queen’s Park.
“I assist everybody right here. I believe it is nice that we’re all right here standing collectively and I believe we should always proceed till we get what we’re deserved,” an unidentified protester mentioned.
CUPE education staff protest at Queen’s Park on Nov. 4, 2022 as tens of 1000’s of union members stroll off the job. (CTV News Toronto/Brian Weatherhead)
Toronto police warned the general public to anticipate site visitors delays within the Queen’s Park space immediately.
Protests have been additionally held exterior of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s workplace in Etobicoke and at Lecce’s workplace in King City.
Ford has not commented publicly on immediately’s walkout and cancelled his deliberate look on the grand opening of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto Friday morning.
TALKS COME TO A STANDSTILL
Workers are strolling off the job after contract negotiations with the federal government concluded Thursday afternoon. The union supplied 5 days discover of a strike on Sunday.
In an effort to hold kids in class, the federal government handed Bill 28, also referred to as the Keeping Students in Class Act, Thursday afternoon hours after contract negotiations with CUPE ended.
Bill 28, which was initially proposed on Monday, mandates a four-year contract onto the union members and a part of that contract features a 2.5 per cent annual wage improve for people making lower than $43,000 a 12 months and a 1.5 per cent improve for all different staff.
The bill additionally features a every day nice of up to $4,000 for staff who take part in “illegal” job motion and the union itself might be hit with a $500,000 nice.
The union has mentioned that it’ll battle the fines and, if mandatory, pay them for members on strike.
On Friday, Unifor and Unifor’s Ontario Regional Council introduced it’s going to donate a complete of $100,000 to CUPE to assist pay for any fines imposed for defying Bill 28.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce mentioned at a information convention Thursday afternoon that the federal government made “a good faith effort” however that the union wouldn’t budge and take their risk of a strike off the desk.
“We will use every tool available to send a clear unambiguous message: schools should be open and there’s accountability for breaking the law,” Lecce mentioned.
The strike comes after weeks of contract negotiations between CUPE and the provincial authorities.
CUPE has been arguing for an 11.7 per cent improve in wage for his or her members, equalling about $3.25 extra an hour throughout the board.
The union mentioned on Thursday that their newest supply was about half of what was initially proposed, which might be a roughly six per cent wage improve.
However, the federal government mentioned it will not entertain every other proposals until the specter of a strike is rescinded.
Walton mentioned Lecce and the federal government try to shut down the employees as a substitute of negotiating with them
“I discover it attention-grabbing that Stephen Lecce is utilizing extra effort to strip away the rights of all of those staff. You know, going to the Labor Board. He has executed extra making an attempt to defeat these staff than he has to shield these staff. He has executed extra to hurt these staff and the companies they supply our children than he has defending them,” she instructed CP24 whereas protesting exterior of Lecce’s constituency workplace in King City Friday morning.
CUPE Ontario President Fred Hanh known as the passage of Bill 28 “draconian” and mentioned staff will proceed to battle till they’re heard.
“It is unprecedented in Canadian labour historical past. It not solely invokes the however clause to take away folks’s constitutionally protected rights, it units apart the human rights code, it units apart big components of the Labour Relations Act and that is why I’m so proud to be right here immediately with all of our members. They are the heroes on this story,” he instructed CP24 at Queen’s Park on Friday.
The authorities and CUPE initially began contract negotiations in July, forward of education staff’ contracts expiring on Aug. 31.
In addition to pay, CUPE members additionally need half-hour of prep time established day by day for instructional assistants and early childhood educators (ECEs), together with an additional week of paid work earlier than the beginning of the college 12 months and a rise in advantages.
With recordsdata from CTV News Toronto’s Katherine DeClerq