The strike, which would close hundreds of schools across Ontario was averted Sunday evening when the province reached a tentative agreement with the Union that represents thousands of education workers.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce and meeting a group of canadian Union of public employees (CUPE) announced that they have reached agreement just hours before the “point of no return”.
“We can all breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I have achieved partial success, and it is important for students in the province,” said Lecce to the journalists gathered at the Sheraton Toronto.
Neither he nor representatives of CUPE didn’t go into the details of the agreement, but the President of the negotiating group Union said that her party had not made concessions.
“We were able to keep the existing scheme of granting sick leave, said Laura Walton. – It was very important to provide that to our members, and I am proud that we were able to achieve this. We were also able to achieve modest wage increases”.
Lecce said that the new agreement “strengthens the integrity” of the program to provide sick leave.
55000 education workers represented by CUPE include cleaners, caregivers of infants and clerical staff performing critical functions, without which, as stated, at least two dozen school boards, schools will not be able to work.
These tips have stated that they will be forced to close their schools during the strike, resulting in some families where parents can’t find or pay for more child care, will create a difficult situation.
And Lecce, and Walton understand the importance of the fact that we managed to avoid disruption of school activities.
“To all negotiators, I want to see that, by making students the center of our discussion, we were able to achieve tangible success, allowing not to disrupt the educational process and provide the stability that is expected from us, at the same time advancing our shared priorities,” said Lecce.
“Throughout this process our goal was to reach agreements, taking into account the interests of taxpayers, students and their families, and not forgetting the significant contributions of our educators, he said Doug Ford in a written statement. – Our government has worked tirelessly at the negotiating table to achieve this goal, and as a result the learning process from two million pupils will not be disturbed”.
Now, when the agreement was executed, the CUPE members will vote on ratification.
But the good news is somewhat tainted by the fact that the ongoing contract negotiations between the province and unions representing teachers, whose contracts expire on the same day that the contracts of support staff in education.