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TORONTO, Ont. – Representatives of Ontario school board workers say they look forward to helping to shape and preserve vital elements of public education in Ontario. The statement was made on the day that their union served notice to bargain in school boards across Ontario, where CUPE represents workers in 110 bargaining units.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents 55,000 school board support workers in Ontario. In May, their members voted to participate in central bargaining with the Ministry of Education and school boards and earlier this month, Ontario’s Education minister issued a regulation that designated CUPE as the bargaining agent for its members.

“We are looking forward to meeting with representatives from the government and trustee associations as soon as possible to start the negotiations process,” said Terri Preston, chair of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Coordinating Committee (OSBCC).

“Our members are seeking a contract that respects the work that they do and fully recognizes their roles in making schools work. We are mobilized and ready to bargain.”

Jim Morrison, CUPE coordinator for the OSBCC, continued: “The ministry will participate at the central table and all the players have clearly defined roles in the bargaining process. Under this model, we hope to make gains that benefit our members and also help to ensure the future of public education in Ontario.

“Through collective bargaining, CUPE will present workers’ concerns and issues to both the ministry and employers. And throughout this process, we will signal our plans to protect public education through a strong collective agreement.”

Terri Preston
Chair CUPE Ontario School Board Coordinating Committee

Jim Morrison
Coordinator CUPE Ontario School Board Coordinating Committee

Mary Unan
CUPE Communications