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TorontoLeaders representing 46,000 educational support workers, who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), are in Toronto Saturday for an emergency meeting of their sector, where they will debate moving forward with a coordinated mobilizing campaign aimed at forcing the provincial government to scrap the flawed education funding formula.

The provincially-appointed axe men have identified thousands of support staff positions for cuts. This, says CUPE Ontario president Sid Ryan, who called the emergency meeting will mean labour unrest in the education sector as at least 30 CUPE locals and dozens of teachers locals head into bargaining this fall and winter. There will be labour turmoil and the Tories will be blamed because this government has starved school boards of funding.

In addition to Ryan, CUPE education sector leaders and political action representatives, those attending the Saturday, September 14 meeting (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at 25 Cecil Street (the Steelworkers Hall) include Earl Manners, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), Cathy Dandy of the Toronto Parents Network, Wayne Samuelson, president, Ontario Federation of Labour, Donna Marie Kennedy, 1st vice president, Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association, Gerrard Kennedy, Liberal Education Critic and Rosario Marchese, NDP Education Critic.

Our goal is to use this meeting as the launch for a common front opposition to the Tory education reforms and the disastrous provincial funding formula. This is similar to our collective fight against Bill 136. It also gives a clear message to Mordechai Rozanski that educational support workers play a key role in our education system and that they will not sit idly by as their jobs come under attack, says Ryan.

Nearly 100 delegates attending the emergency meeting will be asked to endorse actions that include:
  • A no-concession stance by all CUPE locals at the bargaining table in the education sector;
  • A commitment to a strategic strike date;
  • Coordinating mobilization with teachers unions and parent groups;
  • Local actions targeting area school boards;
  • CUPE locals building parent/community/union coalitions in support of public education province-wide.

For more information please contact:
Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President
(416) 209-0066
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications
(416) 578-8774