Starting on Tuesday, November 26, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), representing 83,000 teachers and education workers, as well as the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), representing more than 60,000 members, will begin work-to-rule job action. And we, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), representing 55,000 CUPE education workers, and all CUPE Ontario’s 280,000 members, stand in solidarity with them.
Last month, when CUPE education workers mobilized to secure a central collective agreement that ensured critical investments in public education services and jobs, both ETFO and OSSTF showed steadfast solidarity with our members. Now —as OSSTF and ETFO begin job action to protect students’ learning environment and ensure decent working condition — CUPE stands with you.
“We’re in solidarity with ETFO’s and OSSTF’s job action because our public schools matter,” says Fred Hahn, CUPE Ontario President. “And education workers, at both the elementary and secondary level, provide important services that can’t be short-changed.”
OSBCU and CUPE Ontario are outraged that the Ford Conservatives and the Council of Trustees’ Association (CTA) refuse to negotiate a fair collective agreement with ETFO and OSSTF. CUPE education workers were able to secure a no concession, freely-negotiated collective agreement resulting in historic investments in public education. We call on the Ford Conservatives to respect ETFO and OSSTF members and negotiate a fair collective agreement.
We are asking all CUPE Ontario members to show solidarity. CUPE education workers will honour the sanctions taken by ETFO and OSSTF in our schools. We will not perform struck work. We will join our allies at info pickets, walk-ins and other actions like ETFO’s Solidarity Action, taking place on the first morning of the job action, or OSSTF’s information pickets.
“With our shared goals and through solidarity, we can make our public schools better,” says Laura Walton, OSBCU president. “We’re a team in our schools and we’re a team in the streets. ETFO and OSSTF had CUPE education workers’ back during our job action, and we will have them throughout theirs.”