Warmest congratulations to all education workers of Ontario, who were honoured last night by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) as recipients of its Racial Justice Award (Labour category). CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU) accepted the award on behalf of education workers. This was wonderful recognition for the council that did so much to mobilize and organize its members, especially Black and racialized members, in a historic fightback against austerity for the lowest paid members of the education system.
CUPE Ontario also thanks the UARR for its ongoing work to highlight the links between racial justice and economic justice. Our union strongly supports this work, as our members demand that we do more to highlight the reality that Black, racialized and Indigenous workers are overrepresented in low-wage, precarious jobs. The organizing that took place among CUPE education workers was part of growing efforts by many to focus on ways to “raise the floor” for the lowest paid workers. This is a critical part of the fight for racial justice.
We are enormously proud of the recognition that Black, racialized and Indigenous workers played a pivotal role in the education sector’s most recent fight for decent work and decent pay. There can be no question that their active participation was critical in building the successful resistance to the Ford Conservatives and the draconian attempt to bully education workers and strip them of their rights. This award acknowledges how building workers’ power, backed by the strength and solidarity of our movement, can have real and tangible results for workers