Bargaining continues between education workers and province as strike deadline looms

TORONTO — Intense bargaining is set to take place today between the province and education workers ahead of a possible strike.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has said 55,000 of its workers will walk off en masse on Monday if a deal with the province isn't reached by 5 p.m. on Sunday, and both sides are planning to be at the table throughout the weekend.

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, while Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said the government has put forward multiple improved offers and not asked for any concessions.

The Ontario Federation of Labour said it planned to hold solidarity rallies across the province today.

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

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press