Bargaining continues between education workers and province as strike deadline looms

TORONTO — The union representing 55,000 education workers in Ontario says negotiations with the province will continue through the weekend as both sides work to avert a possible Monday strike.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says negotiators from its Ontario School Boards Council of Unions have been at the table throughout the day on Saturday and expect to remain so through the evening.

The union previously announced members will walk off the job en masse on Monday if a deal with the province isn't reached by 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Several school boards have said learning will move online next week in the event of a walkout by CUPE, which filed a strike notice earlier this week after talks with the province broke down.

It would be the second time that CUPE workers, which include education assistants, early childhood educators and custodians, have gone on strike this month.

CUPE has said the two sides recently agreed on a 3.59 per cent wage increase, but the union is still fighting for higher staffing levels.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce issued a statement on Saturday afternoon touting the government's improved offer and calling on CUPE to call off the proposed strike in order to keep students in class.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press