Canada/August 23, 2022/Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/
A union representing Ontario education workers has set a strike vote, but says they wouldn’t be in a position to walk off the job until October at the earliest.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents 55,000 workers including maintenance staff, librarians and early childhood educators, will open voting from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 on whether to set a strike mandate.
Laura Walton, the president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says holding a strike vote doesn’t necessarily mean that workers will withdraw services, but it’s part of the process to show the government they are prepared to fight for workers and public education.
She says CUPE and the government have bargaining dates this Friday as well as three more dates in September, and there is still plenty of time for the government to come with a better offer.
When it comes to wages, CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent, while the government has offered two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for everyone else.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce is criticizing CUPE’s step today, saying the union was on a path to strike before it even saw the first offer and is making “unreasonable demands.