Education Workers' Wages: the impact of ten years of cuts

Education Workers' Wages: the impact of ten years of cuts

Over the past decade, wage increases that have trailed inflation have resulted in almost $1.3 billion in cost savings just from CUPE members’ incomes. In-year savings for 2021 are almost $225 million. CUPE annual income would be $4085 higher in 2021 if this money had been allocated equally to 55,000 members. Over time this wage gap has had profound negative effects on education workers’ financial and personal wellbeing. But the issues have extended to school boards themselves who are facing significant recruitment and retention problems related to uncompetitive wages.

Translations: FR
Report: Despite how important they are to students’ success and the success of schools as a whole; education workers do not get the recognition they deserve. They have been subject to longstanding understaffing and overwork, as well as legislative attacks on their wages. As a result of the latter, school board workers’ wages have eroded significantly over the past decade. Legislative restrictions on free collective bargaining like Bill 115 (under the previous Liberal government) that froze wages for two years, and Bill 124 (under the current Conservative government) that limited increases to 1% per year for three years, contributed to long-term loss of real income. Overall, education workers’ wages have increased by only 8.8% (compounded) from 2012 to 2022. Over that same period of time inflation in Ontario has been 19%.1 Recently, the provincial government projected inflation in 2021 is topping 3%.2 Reports in November 2021 show inflation as high as 4.7%.3 The imposition of 1% limit on wage increases through Bill 124 further eroded their purchasing power.
Province must provide direction, support for students and staff working in schools during COVID shutdown

Province must provide direction, support for students and staff working in schools during COVID shutdown

Even in the current emergency shutdown in Ontario, thousands of students continue to go to school and continue to be supported by education workers. To protect everyone’s health and safety, the union that represents 55,000 education workers is calling on the provincial government to implement some straightforward measures that will lower the risks of spreading COVID-19.

Translations: FR
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) has drawn up a list of simple, low-cost ways to reduce hazards for everyone who spends their days in brick-and-mortar schools. Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), outlined the measures that the union wants in place in schools that have students attending class: Mandatory screening: Active and enhanced screening should be applied to everyone entering schools. Screening should include temperature checks for anyone coming through school doors and written attestation should be required from parents to confirm that their children don’t have symptoms of COVID- 19 and haven’t been exposed to it.