CUPE, Ontario government reach tentative deal; strike called off

TORONTO — A union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers says it has reached a tentative deal with the provincial government, averting a strike that had been planned for Monday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has not yet released details about the deal, but said earlier that both sides had already reached an agreement on wages even as the union kept pushing for certain staffing levels to be guaranteed.

CUPE said both sides had agreed to a $1-per-hour raise each year, or about 3.59 per cent annually.

But the union was still looking for $100 million in guarantees of higher staffing levels for educational assistants, librarians, custodians and secretaries, as well as an early childhood educator in every kindergarten classroom and not just classes that have more than 16 students.

The looming strike would have come two weeks after CUPE's last walkout, which shut many schools across the province for two days.

The job action ended after the government promised to repeal a law that imposed contracts on CUPE members, banned them from striking, and used the notwithstanding clause to allow the override of certain charter rights.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press