All education workers represented by CUPE at Durham District School Board (DDSB) have now concluded local bargaining.

The last group, made up of educational assistants and outdoor education instructors, ratified a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Sunday morning, just days after the group had requested a “no board report” and started the countdown toward job action.

“After a lengthy round of bargaining with DDSB, I am pleased that all four CUPE 218 bargaining units have ratified their contracts. This demonstrates that, when there is solidarity within the units, we can achieve unity,” said Dennis Gibbs, President of CUPE 218.    

Central agreements with education workers are negotiated provincially, but school boards in Ontario are also jointly responsible with unions for negotiating local collective agreements. Central agreements deal with workers’ wages, leaves and benefits, whereas local agreements address issues like job security, scheduling, and job requirements.

“The pandemic made bargaining a challenge, but we wanted CUPE 218’s collective agreements at DDSB to reflect the dedication that our members bring to every aspect of their jobs, whether they work as EAs and outdoor education instructors, or in the Office/Clerical/Technical unit, or in Continuing Education and Custodial/Maintenance units,” said Gibbs.

“We’re proud that our members took the stand they did and that the board recognized the importance and value of their work.”

The latest deal will go to DDSB’s board of trustees for ratification on April 6.