With our fellow education workers in Ontario facing an unprecedented attack on their rights and their ability to serve students, B.C.’s K-12 Presidents Council is sending a message of support and solidarity to the Ontario School Board Council of Union and its 55,000 members as they prepare to walk out in protest.
The appalling disregard of the Charter rights of education workers in Ontario is disgraceful and should alarm all workers across B.C. and Canada. Invoking the Notwithstanding Clause to circumvent fair collective bargaining sets a dangerous precedent. If our Charter rights as workers can be so casually tossed aside, they will mean virtually nothing.
Education workers in Ontario have been subjected to more than a decade of regressive governments that have forced an austerity agenda on that province’s education system. It has been on the back of education workers and hurt the quality of education they can deliver to Ontario students and families. They deserve a better deal that recognizes the critical role they serve in schools and communities.
We are calling on the Ford government to stop its threats and attacks, return to the table and negotiate in good faith with the OSBCU. The best way to ensure a quality and accessible education for all Ontario students is secure long-term stability and labour peace at the bargaining table with a fair contract.
To all education workers in Ontario, please know that you are not alone. The over 70,000 education members in B.C. represented by the K-12 Presidents Council are standing with you, as are 715,000 CUPE members across Canada. Your courage and determination are inspiring. Your fight is our fight.