Toronto Thousands of CUPE 4400 members and supporters, including allies, parents, teachers and students, gathered at the Ministry of Education at Bay and Wellesley streets this afternoon for a rally and march to the Toronto District School Board to demand a fair collective agreement. The 13,000 education workers have been on strike since March 31st.
I am proud of the strength you bring as we demand a fair and reasonable settlement with the TDSB, said CUPE 4400 President John Weatherup. We will not become the working poor of this city. The Board should sit down at the bargaining table tomorrow and settle this strike now. CUPE 4400 has remained available to negotiate ever since talks broke off early Wednesday morning.
After rallying outside the Ministry of Education and thanking supporters and members for their solidarity, Weatherup led a long line of CUPE 4400 members and supporters on a march around Queens Park and on to the TDSB Administration Centre at 155 College St. The crowd filled both sides of College Street and spilled over into the street, closing one lane for the two-hour demonstration.
One percent over the last eight years is just not good enough, said CUPE National President Judy Darcy, referring to the 1% total increase CUPE 4400 members have received since 1993. CUPE is a no concession union. Were about going forward, not backwards, added Darcy, referring to the Boards attack on job security provisions won during the strike of 1999.
This strike is about 13,000 members standing up for their rights, said Weatherup. To parents I say The Board doesnt need to close the schools, they need to settle this strike so they can open the schools and return to offering quality public education in this city.
For further information, please contact:
Maggie Davidson (CUPE 4400) 416-597-3957