Education Workers Tell the ‘Get It Done Premier’: Get a Fair Deal Done Now to Avoid Classroom Upheaval in September
WINDSOR, Ontario — Frontline education workers are ready to fight for what students need in the classroom and what they need to do their jobs even better.
“Now is the time to avert classroom upheaval in September,” said Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU). “CUPE education workers are ready to negotiate a contract that protects and expands services for students while raising wages for the lowest paid workers in the education system.”
“It’s within the re-elected premier’s power to avoid more disruption for students this fall,” observed Walton. “He should direct his negotiators to sit down with us right away to hammer out a deal that puts students and workers first.”
Years of systemic and structural underfunding by this Conservative government, and the Liberal government before it, have resulted in understaffing and unsustainably low wages for education workers. The workers’ bargaining demands, if met, would fix these systemic problems to meet students’ needs as well as create good jobs for education workers – twin goals that will benefit all communities throughout the province.
“Custodians need to know there’ll be enough of them to fight the next wave of COVID-19. Clerical Workers go in early and stay late – working unpaid time – to protect students’ safety and ensure smooth operation of our schools. Educational Assistants see that more of them have to be hired to provide the one-on-one supports that students need and parents demand. Early Childhood Educators must be in every kindergarten classroom to give our youngest students the hands-on experiences that four- and five-year-olds crave,” Walton explained.