CUPE 5257 members, who are Montessori teachers and support staff at Blaisdale Montessori School, have ratified a new collective agreement ending a two-week long strike action across five campuses in Ajax, Oshawa, Bowmanville, and Pickering.

“These workers took a meaningful stand for a fair contract that raises the bar for everyone, especially the 55% of members who were earning minimum wage,” said Candace Rennick, Secretary Treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “This strike was about fairness for loyal, dedicated, and hard-working Montessori teachers and support staff who deserve to be treated with respect.”

The new five-year collective agreement, backdated to August 2019, includes up to a 7.72 per cent wage improvement on ratification for members who earn close to minimum wage, and further wage improvements averaging 2.5 per cent each year of the collective agreement. The new agreement was ratified with an overwhelming majority on November 30.

“This round of bargaining was like no other—it took a tremendous amount of courage and conviction for these loyal Montessori teachers and support staff to commence job action during the pandemic,” said Sara Lorne, President of CUPE 5257. “I’m incredibly proud of our members who stood united during each step of bargaining—together we fought hard and concluded this round of negotiations with a fair contract that reflects the value of these dedicated teachers and support staff.”