Attempting to kickstart conversations on equity, violence, and health and safety, we’re disappointed to say that we made little headway. Additionally, although we raised the issues of job security and benefits, the employer maintained their concessions. Our proposal is reasonable, necessary, and ensures sustainability for education workers and the students and families who rely on the services we deliver. The gains you need rely on the high participation of you and your co-workers in the days ahead.
We have prepared a chart that compares the asks you have with the proposal your bosses and government have offered. It is clear that we are far apart on many issues. Bridging this gap will take a high participation of members!
Overall, we are disheartened with what was passed. Education Workers are fighting to stay out of poverty. The proposal of only $800 per year on average in face of skyrocketing inflation is not going to pay rising rent costs, put food on the table or addresses the staffing issues that are rampant in our schools.
We will walk you through the rationale for our proposal on wages to show why what we have put forward is reasonable, necessary, and affordable. Our last meeting it was suggested that the employer and crown had concerns about the cost of our proposal. We believe this presentation will demonstrate quite clearly that our proposal is affordable for the province. For our members it is simply not affordable to accept anything that is not a substantial wage increase. A decade of wage restraint has put our members in financial distress. Inflation is high and rising, putting far too many of our members on the brink of poverty.
Frontline education workers are not holding a strike vote on August 22. We know that workers understanding and using our collective power is crucial to winning long overdue gains for students, Ontario families, and each other, so we’re gathering to discuss what our response might be if the Ford government keeps delaying getting a deal done into the fall.
These proposals for Student Success and Good Jobs, if accepted, would: 1. Guarantee increased services for students; 2. Protect service levels against cuts; 3. Help solve school boards’ problems retaining and recruiting workers; and 4. Increase government funding for children’s education after 10 years of real cuts.
Over a period of about nine hours on Monday, your coworkers focused on trying to get an agreement with your bosses’ representatives about the same two things as last time: ground rules for this round of negotiations and the scope of central bargaining.
Astonishingly, superintendent of business services and board treasurer Nick Pfeiffer explained during Monday’s meeting that funding for a newly created superintendent position, at the added cost of about $211,000 per year, was provided by the Ford government specifically for hiring yet another backroom senior manager.
We thought it would be no-brainer for both parties – workers representatives and the bosses – to quickly accept the same central scope as last time. But something as simple as this became another opportunity for the provincial government to delay. They figure that they can prolong the start of discussions about real issues that matter to you and kids’ caregivers even longer by dragging out today’s first meeting into a second unnecessary meeting weeks from now. (By the way, they haven’t even agreed to a next meeting date yet). As for the ground rules, your bargaining team made it clear that workers will not accept a “media blackout.” Instead, those of us who are at the negotiating table on your behalf intend to be very open and transparent with the whole CUPE-OSBCU membership.
CUPE education workers are ready to negotiate a contract that protects and expands services for students, and they’re ready to get it down before the new school year starts this fall. Support education workers’ demands for service guarentees and higher wages for low-paid frontline workers. Send a message to the premier and education minister now