On Tuesday, the Ontario government introduced legislation that would force 55,000 frontline education workers into a contract without collective bargaining ‒ and use the Notwithstanding Clause to overrule any legal challenges based on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
No government has ever taken such a direct aim at the right to free and fair collective bargaining under the Charter.
This unprecedented attack on education workers is a threat to all workers in Ontario.
If this legislation (Bill 28, misleadingly named the Keeping Students in Class Act) goes through, there is virtually nothing stopping the government from repeating this attack on other workers who would come to the bargaining table.
What’s more, Doug Ford's government is weakening the integrity of our public education system by attacking the frontline workers who are the backbone of our public schools ‒ including custodians, maintenance and library workers, secretaries, early childhood educators, educational assistants, and IT workers.
Guelph New Democrats stand in solidarity with frontline education workers in their fight to bargain for better pay, staffing, work conditions, and resources.
Education workers and supporters will be picketing at 173 Woolwich Street (MPP Mike Schreiner’s office) on Friday, November 4th between 8 AM and 4 PM. We encourage you to join us.
If you cannot make it out, pick up the phone and let Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce know you stand with education workers and condemn the government's bullying:
- Doug Ford: 416-325-1941
- Stephen Lecce: 416-325-3600
We must not stand by while Conservatives attack fundamental labour rights and public education in Ontario.
Guelph New Democrats
About Bill 28 and Ontario's Public Education Workers
- The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents about 55,000 Ontario education workers
- Right now, these workers earn on average $39,000 per year, with wage increases capped at 1% per year since 2019
- CUPE has been fighting for fair wage increases in the face of inflation, adequate staffing, job stability, and investment in public education
- Doug Ford's Bill 28 would would force through a contract that cuts sick leave and keeps wages well below inflation (amounting to around $200 more in each worker's pocket)
- Bill 28 includes a draconian strike ban with fines for workers of up to $4,000 per day and $500,000 for the union
- Bill 28 violates the Charter right to free and fair collective bargaining yet pre-emptively shuts down legal challenges based on the Charter using the Notwithstanding Clause