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TORONTO, ON – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and other unions representing education workers in Ontario stood together today to announce they are officially challenging the Liberal government’s unconstitutional Bill 115.
Passed exactly one month ago, Bill 115 strips school board workers of their constitutionally protected Charter rights and allows the government to dictate terms of employment in an unprecedented fashion. CUPE is one of four unions filing challenges to the bill’s constitutionality.
“The Liberals are cynically trying to portray this bill as only being about teachers and a wage freeze. It’s not. This is an unprecedented attack on the civil rights of all education workers – some 200,000 Ontarians, including thousands of support staff who are the backbone of our education system” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.
CUPE represents 55,000 school secretaries, custodians, educational assistants, early childhood educators, instructors, library technicians, lunch room supervisors and other support staff in English, French, public, separate, elementary and secondary schools across Ontario.
“Dalton McGuinty’s legislation has created chaos in education. Even his finance minister is suggesting Bill 115 won’t survive a legal challenge. Now he’s getting ready to bring the same unfair, unconstitutional chaos to long-term care homes, child care centres, hospitals, universities – a huge list of the services Ontarians rely on every day,” said Hahn The Liberals recently unveiled new legislation that will also strip the Charter right to free collective bargaining from 500,000 more Ontario workers in the broader public sector, including those working in universities and colleges, hospitals, boards of health, long-term care homes, community care access centres, Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation and non-profit agencies that receive provincial funding.
CUPE represents 620,000 workers across Canada, including 230,000 workers in Ontario school boards, universities, health care, municipalities and social services.
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316