TORONTO, ON – CUPE Ontario is denouncing the provincial government’s move to introduce back-to-work legislation against striking teachers.
“Premier Wynne committed to restoring labour peace after the disaster that was Bill 115 – specifically by respecting the collective bargaining process,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. “Back-to-work legislation is the antithesis of respect for the collective bargaining process. The very introduction of this legislation is a disturbing throwback to the Bill 115 way of doing things.”
CUPE leaders also called into question the validity of the back-to-work bill. “The recent Supreme Court decision on the Charter-protected right of public sector workers to strike was clear. By introducing this bill, the Wynne government is acting in opposition to that decision on fundamental, constitutional rights,” said Hahn. “The Education Minister should be directing boards to meaningfully bargain to end these strikes, instead of deploying an anti-democratic hammer, in the form of a bill that may well not survive constitutional challenge.”
CUPE represents education workers in all four of the province’s school board systems – French and English, public and separate school boards. CUPE’s education sector members are also covered under Bill 122, which created a new bargaining structure for school board negotiations.
CUPE remains committed to supporting OSSTF and ETFO in their respective job actions. In Ontario’s school board sector, CUPE represents 55,000 early childhood educators, educational assistants, instructors, custodians, school office staff, administrative staff, library and computer technicians, trades people and more.
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