TORONTO – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 55,000 education workers in Ontario, has requested the aid of a conciliator from the Ministry of Labour in its central negotiations.
“It’s clear we are going to require assistance to get these talks moving,” said Terri Preston, chair of CUPE’s central bargaining committee. “We’ve been without a contract since September 2014. We’ve only just started bargaining – we’ve had exactly two dates so far. The Council of Trustee Associations (CTA) has offered us just four more dates between now and the end of September. That’s a far cry from committing to a deal before the school year starts. And our members are not prepared to go another school year without a deal.”
“The first two days of talks clarified how far we are from resolution,” said Jim Morrison, CUPE National Representative assigned to the central negotiations. “We anticipated that we would be able to conduct meaningful bargaining throughout the summer, with the aim of getting a deal before Labour Day. We can’t do that without bargaining dates, and we can’t do that without a parallel commitment from the CTA.”
CUPE represents education workers in all four of the province’s school board systems – French and English, public and separate school boards – including early childhood educators, educational assistants, instructors, custodians, school office staff, administrative staff, library and computer technicians, trades people and more.
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