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Thu Nov 8 2012


There has been a lot of talk about how the recent passing of Ontario Bill 115 – Putting Students First Act has affected teachers and students in schools across the province. I would like to point out that other educational workers, including secretaries, custodians, educational assistants, Board staff and IT professionals, are also affected negatively by the Act.

We are represented by CUPE, and our union was working hard to bargain with our employer, the Upper Canada District School Board, in the months leading up to the passing of Bill 115. The Bill gives unprecedented power to the Minister of Education to interfere in all collective agreements in the education sector; to review, approve, or re-write any provision of our agreements.

The average CUPE school board worker makes $38,000 annually. Two years with no increase, plus three unpaid days off has a serious impact on our life.

The government has gotten themselves into financial difficulty with some bad decisions and is now feeling the pinch. Their answer to that is to implement legislation that targets a sector that many feel can afford it. CUPE members cannot afford it and it is frustrating to be asked to bear the brunt of this fiscal “quick fix”.

Please support the support workers – we have always put students first. This is not “spin” or a catch phrase invented to make bad legislation more acceptable. This is just how we do our jobs.

Sue Bolger