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CUPE education workers in Ontario back to bargaining table

(Ottawa – November 9, 2022) The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is expressing its solidarity with CUPE’s 55,000 education workers as they return to the bargaining table following the Ontario government’s decision to rescind Bill 28. This unprecedented and draconian legislation overrode workers’ rights and freedoms under the Charter and the provincial Human Rights Code.

Last Friday, CUPE’s 55,000 workers, including support staff, education assistants, early childhood educators, caretakers, and their supporters, joined rallies across the province to protest the bill that was passed on Thursday by the Ontario government, imposing a four-year contract on the workers, prohibiting job action, and invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Constitution to prevent any legal challenge.

On Monday, CUPE received in writing Premier Doug Ford’s commitment to repeal Bill 28 in its entirety, in effect restoring the right to collective bargaining and strike action. In return, CUPE has called an end to its current demonstrations and is primed to negotiate a fair deal that workers view as long overdue. CUPE’s education workers provide essential support in schools but earn on average just $39,000 per year.

“In the interests of all education workers and their unions, CAUT stood with CUPE to send a clear message that Bill 28 was an unacceptable and unconstitutional affront to all working people,” said Peter McInnis, CAUT President. “We will continue to support CUPE’s members now as they bargain for a fair deal.”