Ontario education workers file strike notice again, say talks broke down

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, representing 55,000 Ontario education workers, has filed a five-day strike notice, saying bargaining talks with the province have broken down once more.

CUPE says it reached middle ground with the government on wages but the notice of a potential provincewide strike comes after what it calls a refusal from the province to "invest in the services that students need and parents expect."

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government is disappointed at the strike notice and adds that the province has put forward multiple improved offers.

On Monday, Ontario repealed controversial legislation that had imposed a contract on the workers and banned them from striking.

That legislation was passed on Nov. 3 after an earlier strike notice from CUPE in an effort to keep them at work.

But thousands of workers, including education assistants, librarians and custodians, walked off the job anyway, shutting hundreds of schools to in-person learning for two days.

Premier Doug Ford then offered last week to withdraw the legislation if CUPE members returned to work, which they did, and bargaining then resumed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press