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November 14th, 2012
To the people of Ontario:
Another Remembrance Day has passed, the time we remember the sacrifices made by Canadians to preserve and protect freedom and democracy. Yet today, we find ourselves still struggling to maintain our democratic rights in Ontario.
Bill 115, the “Putting Students First Act” is an attack, by our own government, on Ontarians who work in education. Although the media has focused mainly on teachers, this Bill impacts ALL educational staff. This includes your children’s Educational Assistants, secretaries, custodial staff, library technicians and Early Childhood Educators, who are all the lowest paid workers in the system.
Forget for a moment the 2 year wage freeze and the 50% reduction of sick time. Before Dalton McGuinty abandoned his sinking ship, the Liberal government, along with Tim Hudak’s Conservatives, put into place a bill that has taken away our right to freely negotiate collective agreements. When did our government become a dictatorship?
This unprecedented attack is NOT about putting students first, it is ONLY about cutting services and breaking unions. It is clearly an attack on the democratic rights of 55 000 school support staff. You can be certain that the government won’t stop there. The proposed “Protecting Public Services Act” will strip the Charter-protected rights of almost every public sector worker in the province, including government employees and workers in universities and colleges, hospitals, boards of health, long-term care homes, CCACs, Hydro One, and Ontario Power Generation. Who is next? Or, should we say, “Who is left?”
As members of CUPE 3447, this bill is an attack on our rights, and the rights of our colleagues across the province, to legally bargain a collective agreement with our employers. So we say to the Liberals and Conservatives, “At the next provincial election, we WILL remember.”
M. Batte, Sandra Bennett, Kathy Goulet, M. Jackson, Scott Laurenson, J.Rolufs, Carolyn Schurter