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Who Said What Regarding Tentative Agreement Between CUPE-OSBCU and Ontario Government

Canadian Union of Public Employees-Ontario School Board Council of Unions

The central bargaining committee for 55,000 frontline education workers who are members of CUPE's Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) has reached a tentative agreement with the provincial government and the Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA).

"The tentative agreement includes a flat-rate wage increase, instead of a percentage," said CUPE-OSBCU president Laura Walton. "This tentative agreement is nowhere near everything education workers and kids deserve, however it's all this government is willing to give."

"The biggest gap at the end was no new funding to guarantee that services will be provided in schools for students," noted Walton. "For that, to parents and families, all I can say is that I'm disappointed and so is the entire bargaining committee."

Frontline education workers employed by 63 school boards and one school authority across the province will have the opportunity to review details of the tentative agreement and vote on whether or not to accept it. As required, the central bargaining committee will recommend members accept the tentative agreement during the ratification process that will take until next weekend.

Ontario Minister of Education

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding a tentative central agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Workers (CUPE). This is the first tentative central agreement reached through the 2022 round of central collective bargaining in the education sector:

"Throughout these negotiations, our government's focus has always been keeping students in the classroom without disruption.

I am pleased to formally announce that the Crown, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the school board trustee associations, have reached a tentative agreement that keeps schools open so that kids can stay in class. I know this is welcome news to all students, parents, and workers alike, who now have the certainty they've been looking for.

This is not a win for governments or education unions, it's a win for Ontario families who finally have peace of mind knowing their children will remain in the classroom.

After two and a half years of unprecedented disruptions, nothing matters more than stability in our schools. We are pleased to have reached a deal today that will make sure kids are in class catching up on their learning."

Joint Statement
Presidents of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens

Today's announcement from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) confirms that draconian legislation and the use of oppressive tools, such as the notwithstanding clause, are not necessary to achieve fairly negotiated agreements.

When done in good faith, free and fair collective bargaining works.

The Ford government's overreach was an affront to workers' Charter rights and disregarded the meaningful collaboration that should be the hallmark of negotiations. Through a collective bargaining process that respects the free and fair exchange of ideas between stakeholders, we can strengthen publicly funded education. That is the goal.

Congratulations to CUPE's bargaining team and backed by the Ontario School Board Council of Unions -- Conseil des syndicats des conseils scolaires de l'Ontario (OSBCU-CSCSO)'s 55,000 members. OSBCU-CSCSO's members have the opportunity to vote on a freely bargained contract and the labour community is more united than ever.

In solidarity,

Karen Brown, President, ETFO

Barb Dobrowolski, President, OECTA

Karen Littlewood, President, OSSTF/FEESO

Anne Vinet-Roy, présidente/President, AEFO

Ontario Public School Boards' Association

The Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA) is pleased to announce that the Council of Trustees'/School Board Associations (CTA) and the provincial government have successfully negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.

"We're very pleased that students will be in the classroom tomorrow," said OPSBA President Cathy Abraham. "This tentative agreement recognizes the important contributions of our vital education workers and the significant roles they play in our schools."

The details of the agreement remain confidential until ratified by all parties. CUPE has agreed to stop all job action while awaiting ratification of the deal.

OPSBA will continue to negotiate a fair and fully funded agreement with the other unions representing teachers and education workers, with the best interests of students in mind.

The CTA is a partnership among the following four Associations: Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario; Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques; Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association; and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association.

Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association

"We are very pleased that following many days of bargaining, the Council of Trustees' Associations, the Provincial government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reached a tentative collective agreement. The tentative agreement ensures that the students in Catholic schools throughout Ontario and the dedicated CUPE staff who serve them will remain in schools Monday.

Details of the tentative agreement will be shared following ratification. We are appreciative of the efforts of our bargaining team, Trustee Association and Crown partners and the representatives of the Canadian Union of Public Employees."

Patrick Daly, President

Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques

The Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC) welcomes the tentative agreement reached between the Crown and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Council of Employer Associations (CAE).

After weeks of unsuccessful negotiations between the Ford government and the union representing education workers in Ontario, we are relieved that the parties have finally reached a collective agreement for a new contract to run until August 2026. The parties were able to find common ground on the working conditions applicable to CUPE member employees, to ensure stable labour relations for the next four years and positive working conditions for every employee.

This tentative agreement, reached late yesterday, will help return stability to our students, allowing them to return to class without another strike announcement threatening to close schools. It is also a relief for parents, so that they are not further disrupted by unstable schedules. As a result, schools remain open and staff are on duty. The AFOCSC will release the details of the agreement once it is ratified by CUPE members.

Johanne Lacombe, President of AFOCSC said: "It is heartening for our school boards to see that our teams were able to reach a negotiated tentative agreement with CUPE. Students will be back in the classroom receiving the best services possible. It is our hope and desire that the next rounds of negotiations will be concluded without any disruption of service. The success and well-being of students and staff must be a priority for all partners at the bargaining table."

AFOCSC thanks the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), ACE and the government for their work in reaching this first tentative agreement. We hope that the negotiation process with the various unions in the education sector will also come to a similarly encouraging conclusion.

(Unofficial translation from the original French by Renewal Update)

Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario

We are pleased to announce that a provincial tentative agreement has been reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Council of Employer Associations, of which ACÉPO is a member, and the government. As a result of this tentative agreement, CUPE members will be on the job on Monday, November 21, thus avoiding a full strike.

The details of the agreement with CUPE will be made public after union members and school boards have ratified the terms. If accepted, the agreement will be valid until the next negotiations in 2026. The Minister of Education congratulated the parties involved at the negotiating table for their diligence and openness.

Thanks to this agreement, the threat of a general walkout by CUPE will not be exercised. School boards will be able to continue their educational mission while counting on the services of their staff who will continue to perform their duties to the fullest.

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with CUPE that will allow our staff to continue to provide the best for our students without interruption. Whether it is the administrative staff, janitorial staff or classroom paraprofessionals, each of these individuals is important to the realization of our educational mission," says Benoit Fortin, President of ACÉPO.

This is the first agreement reached in this round of bargaining between the various unions and associations representing school board staff in the province. Encouraged by the agreement with CUPE, ACÉPO hopes to reach provincial agreements in the coming weeks with all education unions and associations. The priority of our representatives at the bargaining table remains the success and well-being of students in a respectful environment for all.

ACÉPO thanks CUPE, the members of the Council of Employer Associations and the government for the ratification of this agreement.

(Unofficial translation from the original French by Renewal Update)

This article was published in
Number 4 - November 21, 2022

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