The Ontario Liberal government recently introduced Bill 92 — the School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act. If passed, it will infringe on the collective bargaining rights of education workers by taking away workers’ democratic right to decide if they participate in central bargaining with the provincial government. CUPE Ontario members are not going to sit idly by while this government attempts, once again, to undermine the democratic right to free collective bargaining of education workers. We’ve fought this kind of legislative attack before (and won) and we’ll fight it again.

Tell your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) that Bill 92’s mandatory central bargaining for education workers is wrong and that you expect them to stand up for education workers’ rights.

Dear MPP,

I believe the recently introduced Bill 92 — the School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act — will infringe on the collective bargaining rights of education workers.

Currently, education workers represented by CUPE and other support staff unions, have the ability under the School Board Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA) to determine their participation in central bargaining with the provincial government. This allows individual bargaining units to democratically determine their involvement in a process that falls outside of their direct bargaining relationship with their employers and it has been a successful process in previous rounds of bargaining.

Now, Bill 92 seeks to force all education workers into a mandatory, central bargaining process with the provincial government. In doing so, it tramples on the basic democratic rights of those individual bargaining unit members. It is wrong and it is also clearly unnecessary.

Unfortunately, this is not Ontario education workers’ first experience with the government using legislation to interfere with their basic right to free collective bargaining. Just last year, the Ontario Superior Court determined the government’s Bill 115 contravened education workers’ collective bargaining rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedom. It caused unnecessary chaos in Ontario’s education system and has had profoundly negative impacts on this province’s education workers.

Now, it appears, Bill 92 is going to repeat the pattern of legislative interference with education workers’ rights.

It is time the provincial government learns from the mistakes of the past. So I expect you, as my MPP, to stand up for education workers’ basic rights and ensure that Bill 92 does not include mandatory central bargaining.

Sincerely,

 

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