Today, more than 55,000 members of CUPE Ontario have begun legal job action to secure the education services students need at school.
They are education workers, represented by CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), working in our schools and board offices, in both the French and English systems, for public and Catholic boards, in communities across Ontario.
After years of Liberal underfunding, the Ford Conservatives have made a bad situation even worse, cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from Ontario’s schools in just the last year. Those cuts have resulted in lost services for students in schools and lost jobs for frontline education workers in our communities.
Our fellow CUPE members make our schools work. They keep them safe, clean and well-organized, while providing extra support to help students succeed. They work as educational assistants, custodians, office administrators, early childhood educators, trades people, instructors, library technicians, speech pathologists, IT specialists and in many other jobs.
CUPE’s 55,000 school board members are the backbone of our schools and have been on the frontline, fighting for publicly delivered education services and standing with students, parents and our communities against the Ford Conservatives’ cuts.
The education workers CUPE represents in Ontario are some of the lowest paid workers in our public education system. The majority are women and face layoffs each summer. They’ve faced years of cuts to the critical services they provide, seen inflation eat away at their take-home pay because of wage freezes and now, face a government determined to spend money on tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations, while saying frontline education workers and students need to accept cuts to services.
Enough is enough. CUPE Ontario education workers deserve respect. Students in our schools deserve properly funded, publicly delivered education services. Our communities need public services, not cuts.
CUPE education workers’ job action begins today with work-to-rule. Our members are prepared to escalate their job action plan if a fair collective agreement cannot be negotiated.
Throughout this process, CUPE Ontario is committed to rallying the support of our union, the broader labour movement and our communities in this critical fight for fairness, public services and respect.
Today, CUPE education workers begin job action with the support and solidarity of the other 215,000 CUPE members in the Province of Ontario who are municipal, health care, social services, university and airline workers.
As well as being members of CUPE, we are also parents and community members who value the hard work, dedication and critical public services provided to our province by school board workers. We are proud to stand with CUPE OSBCU education workers as they fight for these critical public services.