Ontario Education Workers Will Accept or Reject Latest Deal by December 5

Ontario education workers have a deadline of December 5 to decide whether they want to accept or reject the latest deal offered by the government. The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) initially stated the ratification and voting will be completed by this weekend, but the timeline seems to have changed.

The CUPE issues a statement where it shared the deadline and said, “To allow members time to review and process the details of this tentative agreement, we will not be commenting further until the ratification vote results are released.” They will have till December 5 to make their choice and the results will be revealed the next day.

CUPE represents 55,000 education workers across Ontario who would have gone on legal strike on Monday, November 21, had a deal not been struck between the two parties. On Sunday, November 20, the government and union members agreed on a tentative deal which resulted in the strike being called off. The union said at the time that it will take till the weekend to ratify the agreement.

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As per the latest agreement, education workers will get a wage increase of $1 per hour each year of a four-year collective agreement. This will result in wage increases of 3.59 percent on average, or 14.4 percent compounded over four years. Additionally, the lowest-paid workers will get a $1 per hour increase, which amounts 4.2 percent each year or 16.8 percent compounded over four years.

In an official message to its members, CUPE said that along with the wage increase, it was able to “secure funding that will ensure consistency in the benefits trust, pushed off concessions on sick leave, and achieved status quo on job security provisions.” It also added that this time, the union was not able to secure funding for “additional, much-needed services,” but members should still accept this deal. “We are very proud of what has been achieved here, in one of the toughest rounds of negotiations in the country this year,” the message adds.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce, on Monday, called the deal a win-win for both parties, students, and parents. Talking about the wage increase, he said, “It’s a significant increase from where we started and it’s what we set out to do, to help the lowest paid workers but all workers do benefit from this deal and frankly all families and taxpayers benefit by having stability for children.”

Vineet Washington

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