The first two weeks of November were marked by the mobilization of CUPE-OSBCU’s 55,000 education workers along with a tremendous show of solidarity from unions across the province and the country in the face of an unprecedented attack by the Ontario government on workers’ rights. As the APUO wrote on November 3, Bill 28, the Keeping Students in School Act, 2022, sought to undermine the collective bargaining process and would have had devastating effects on public and private sector unions. This show of strength forced the Ontario government to return to the bargaining table on November 8 and to repeal the legislation on November 14.
In the resumed negotiations, CUPE and the government of Ontario found common ground on certain issues, most notably, wages. However, when the negotiations stalled over the issue of staffing levels required to provide quality education to Ontario’s students, CUPE-OSBCU served a second strike notice, giving both parties until 5:00PM on November 20 to reach a tentative agreement.
On November 20, a tentative agreement was reached. CUPE-OSBCU members are voting on the agreement between November 24 and December 5, with the result expected to be announced on December 6.
The APUO is deeply concerned with the tactics employed by the government of Ontario, which portend very challenging bargaining rounds for other sectors.
The APUO will continue to follow this story closely.