Ford tells education workers who voted in favour of strike 'don't force my hand'

HAMILTON — Days after Ontario education workers gave their union a strike mandate, the premier is telling them not to force his hand.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees announced earlier this week that its members, such as early childhood educators, custodians and administration staff, voted 96.5 per cent in favour of a strike.

Premier Doug Ford was asked at a news conference today if he would legislate them back to work in the event of a stoppage, and he said "please don't go on strike, don't force my hand."

CUPE is set to bargain today and Friday with the government and the union has said the two days of talks would be key in determining next steps.

The government has offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers, while CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent.

CUPE has said the government's offer amounts to an extra $800 a year for the average worker.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press