Ontario education workers to strike starting Friday 'until further notice': union

TORONTO — A union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers says a strike it is planning for Friday will continue "until further notice."

The Canadian Union of Public Employees have said the workers, such as early childhood educators, educational assistants and custodians, would walk off the job Friday, despite looming legislation that would make striking illegal.

Until now, the union hadn't said if it planned a one-day job action or a more prolonged strike, but today Laura Walton, president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says it will be on strike indefinitely.

CUPE gave the government a counter offer late Tuesday, but Education Minister Stephen Lecce says today that he won't negotiate those proposals unless the union cancels its strike.

The Ontario government has introduced a bill – and will likely see it passed Thursday – to impose a contract on the union's education workers and ban them from striking upon threat of steep fines.

The government originally offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all others, but Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the new, imposed four-year deal would give 2.5 per cent annual raises to workers making less than $43,000 and 1.5 per cent raises for all others.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press