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TORONTO, ON – On the eve of the Liberal Leadership Convention, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is launching a television advertising campaign responding to the province’s attacks on collective bargaining. The ad is intended to help build awareness of the benefits of collective bargaining for everyone in Ontario.

CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn said, “We created this commercial to help the general public better understand why these democratic rights are worth protecting, for union and non-union workers alike.”

The commercial is a reminder of a number of the benefits common in workplaces today that exist, in part, because they were first negotiated by a union bargaining a collective agreement. These benefits include fair wages, parental leave, caregiver leave and workplace safety standards.

The television ad is part of CUPE Ontario’s campaign, the union’s response to the Ontario Liberal government, which has used Bill 115 to attack the democratic rights of workers in school boards to free collective bargaining. That legislation allowed the Minister of Education to override the bargaining process and impose contracts across the province.

“Bill 115 created a crisis and continues to do so,” said Hahn. “Repealing it now, after the damage has been done, does nothing to repair the relationship between school workers and the government,” said Hahn. 

“Unfortunately for all of us, this fight is far from over,” he said. “The government has already threatened to introduce more legislation that will take away the bargaining and impartial contract arbitration rights of workers across the rest of the public sector.”

The Protecting Public Services Act was proposed by the Liberal government prior to prorogation. It applies the same bargaining constraints across the provincial public sector as Bill 115, and gives the government additional powers to mandate new conditions on bargaining and do away with impartial arbitration as a form of redress for those workers who do not have a right to strike.

“We are going to campaign until we receive assurance from all provincial leaders that they will not attack our basic democratic rights to bargaining and contract arbitration in the future,” said Hahn.

The commercial will air across the province on all major television networks, beginning tomorrow, and will run for two weeks. To view the ad, please click here.


For more information, please contact:

Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316