Ontario CUPE education workers vote 96.5 per cent in favour of strike mandate

  1. Especially considering how long they've been stuck on current wages. Any media coverage on this should immediately hone in on the fact that Ford is offering teachers workers continued effective pay cuts, and they should be doing that in the headline.

  2. Well they did offer 2% to those making less than $40k... still not a real offer. But they'll say it is more than they have to offer under C124. And they'll stick to it. They'll force the strike, they'll bad mouth the workers in the press. They don't care. They don't care about the workers, the kids, the families. It isn't negotiation, it is simply a final offer.

  3. 1.25% is pitiful, yes. But what's worse is it's 1.25% on a median salary in the $30k range. Works out to less than $1.20/hr. difference.

  4. I am a member of OPSEU and the thing is Ford promised us if us public employees take the 1% for 3yrs he will take care of us in next contracts. So 1.25% is taking care of us?? This should be enough to have 124 overturned in court, theres no good faith negotiations.

  5. The govt is waiting for it to go to arbitration where the workers will be awarded more, but the the conservatives can play the victim and play it off to their supporters as the “elites” (lawyers) made a ruling “outside the rules” of the conservatives bullying everyone

  6. Unpopular opinion, but neither is 11.5 which the union is asking for. 1.25 is a joke and 11.5 is the counter offer you make when someone gives you a joke offer … like 1.25…. It’s like asking for a billion percent. So neither side is really negotiating, they’ve being going towards this the whole time.

  7. I'll add that CUPE will also include any adult education instructors like ESL "teachers" plus any OTs, PTs, social workers etc. that are on staff. It's a pretty diverse group.

  8. Your last point is the most important, people scoff at teachers and education workers striking however the right to strike for better working conditions or pay is one thing we shouldn't take for granted or demean others for doing. When you see someone strike you offer them solidarity, don't say "get back to work".

  9. Thank you for saying this! I’m part of this union and I keep seeing people online saying they should just eliminate the union because they assume we’re all “entitled teachers”. Schools wouldn’t be able to operate without us.

  10. The other 3.5% think that either them not getting a raise means inflation will stop because that is what conservatives told them to believe or think if they don’t work for a month they miss rent and are fucked.

  11. The EA at my school came to me in a panic because they didn't know what was going on, but the thought of a strike scared them because it meant not paying rent. I had to explain the process, the issues, the possible resources, and what the situation is before they felt better enough to vote.

  12. Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the results are not surprising, given education unions' history of voting in favour of strikes, but he is nevertheless “disappointed.”

  13. I can’t believe how many people are saying they should just eliminate our union and fire the workers. They don’t even realize that CUPE isn’t teachers…

  14. This! My school lost 2/3rds of EA support this year yet we have more students in the building. And if someone is away, best of luck finding someone to sub.

  15. It honestly boggles my mind some people's logic that "public service is overpaid buh" mean while their taxes go up anyways.

  16. I'm a parent and I support you, if you need to strike to get a better deal then that's OK. We'll figure it out, but don't settle for less than inflation.

  17. LOVE IT. Strike, goddammit. This education minister needs an ass whooping. I work in post-secondary education but im admin staff and can't strike. It's bullshit. Please do it!

  18. This is what happens when you have a Premier who has no respect for educators and who's highest level of formal education is grade twelve. Combine that with an out of touch Education Minister who has never attended a public school at any point in his life and you get a mass strike by educators.

  19. The government radio spots were playing before school even started. Pitting the public against the staff, yet again.

  20. My son is also on the spectrum and holy shit without EAs and other supports (including, like you said, even the custodians pitching in) his poor teachers would not have been able to get anything done with him there. If CUPE goes on strike and the schools somehow don't shut down, then I'll need to pull him out just for the sake of his classmates and his teacher.

  21. The fact that Ford gave his new Ontario cabinet ministers a 40+% pay hike and wants to give teachers a 1% is criminal.

  22. OK CUPE. Fire up the marketing bandwagon. Get your message out to the public because the Guberment is going to paint you as a great big boogymeister ruining the education of Ontario children.

  23. Seen a lot of commercials already about how the Ontario government is going to help students really catch up this year.

  24. It's only a mandate, it doesn't mean they're particularly likely to strike. It's only a bargaining pose at the moment.

  25. There is legislation that governs strikes so both sides are on the same playing field (the conservative government tend to play victim and pretend this decades old law is a suprise)

  26. They can’t just order you back to work right away, strike has to be able to happen it’s protected in our charter of rights.

  27. Did the math on the 11% raise theyre asking for... That would bring some of us hospital facilities staff to industry standard rates if we had it... Give em hell cupe.

  28. The media has unfortunately not done this raise request justice - they aren't actually asking for 11% but for a flat $3.25/hour raise for everyone. The flat rate is more helpful than a percentage for the very lowest paid workers.

  29. This is for CUPE education workers. Hospital staff are also represented by CUPE, but have separate collective bargaining.

  30. There’s another piece. The government asked the workers to pay an additional 5% per month towards their benefits. For a family of four, this results in $25 per month. Not a big deal…except the average salary/raise offered is $42/month gross. Rough calculation of the net and it’s a $5/month raise.

  31. I’m a recent-ish grad with a school board and have never dealt with a strike. I almost cried at the things people are saying on Twitter about us. Thank you for showing support and not saying we don’t even deserve our jobs...

  32. Don't blame them. The offer from the government was insulting. Benefits may be nice but if the wage is too low you can't afford to keep the job.

  33. 80% turn out for the vote. I wish any other election could also get that many people out. Good luck to them, I'm glad someone is putting up a fight.

  34. I'm not an education worker but I'm in CUPE, and we're about to head into bargaining. The employer wouldn't sit down for over a year, and I think most of the membership is strike ready. Solidarity!

  35. If they go on strike, support the striking workers and DO NOT CROSS PICKET LINES. Call your MPP, Lecce and Ford to tell them you support the workers.

  36. Good thing Doug gave the cops a raise they have someone to harassing anyone who goes on strike. Almost like he’s planning to steal everything not nailed down.

  37. Paging DoFo? Anyone heard from the premier? No? Guess he's waiting for the strike to point out that schools should shift to for profit models to get kids back in the classroom...

  38. He's up at the cottage counting his millions... For some reason our provincial government has to be 'shut down' while municipal elections happen. Maybe Doug and his cronies are quietly helping out Conservatives who are running in certain cities.

  39. Good - do what you gotta do folks - fuck it - STICK IT TO THIS GOVERNMENT and make sure that the public is WELL AWARE of the SHITTY offerings they are bringing to the table.

  40. 1.25% is crazy. If the central bank did its fucking job and raised interest rates early enough to keep inflation to target levels of 2% that would still be substantial losses for education workers. The problem is Conservatives promise to keep costs below inflation so that taxes don’t increase and a substantial portion of the budget is made up of various wages. There is no math that lets them offer raises at or above inflation while keeping budget increases below inflation. I’d prefer workers got inflation level raises but the province disgustingly voted otherwise. Hopefully with a strike and binding arbitration the judges can do something. I’m not sure it’s legal for the government to write a law limiting the wage increases it pays to a piddling small amount and an arbitrator might call that out.

  41. It needs to be done. They've done their fair share of work and are entitled to a raise. Especially when there's money for MPP's, firefighters, and police officers to all get raises. Oh and btw MPPs are taking a 6 week vacation on our dime just because. That money alone could be used to pay education workers more money for a few months.

  42. As a teacher, watching these people work so hard every day for peanuts makes me furious. Schools simply cannot run properly without dedicated staff in all aspects. You have my full support. Make Lecce and Ford squirm.

  43. If the government was offering me 1.25% as a raise and wasn't budging on that while they offered like 5-10% for like police, firefighters and MPPs then I would strike to. This was not even a serious offer by Ford and Leece. They can go fuck themselves for causing this strike. It's even better that 45k people came out to vote on this too. Takes the air out of the idea that only a few members voted.

  44. Aim high CUPE, but with Ford winning last election easily I don't see the public on the side of education workers in the event of a strike, especially if this leads to schools closing.

  45. Ford won because of record voter apathy, not because of popularity or the public being on his side.

  46. Good on them. Unfortunately that asshole known as Doug Ford will probably legislate them back to work and make it illegal for them to strike by declaring them an essential service, while also capping their pay increases to be below inflation and limiting their rights. But more employees need to be willing to use their power to put fear into their employers to get what they deserve.

  47. Good for them. I hope they get everything they ask for. And I hope everyone remembers to not get shitty to them when their strike inconveniences us in the short term

  48. The ECEs and EAs in my kid’s class are wonderful and they deserve better than the treatment they’re getting from the Ontario government. I don’t want them to have to strike I want them to get paid decently.

  49. We are In the same boat here in Manitoba CUPE 500. 93% voted for a strike mandate. We are In the process of getting things ready for a strike. Every other union around us Including the managerial union received large wage increases. Like your local, all we want is fair increase in wages. In solidarity

  50. There are many reasons. Some are just fundamentally against, some fear having no pay (strike pay is fundamentally lower) etc

  51. So when are they actually able to strike legally? Would it be any day now or would they wait until after this next bargaining meeting?

  52. Hear hear. There is money for these workers. Especially when MPPs, police officers and firefighters all got raises.

  53. Good - I support CUPE and educational workers getting paid a fair wage, with fair benefits, and a fair working environment. I do not support the Provincial Government abusing them.

  54. So as someone with family on the CUPE side, as a custodian to be specific, they did a work-to-rule and they were screwed. Prepare for your schools to be disgusting, and your children to complain.

  55. Good, the whole province should go on strike until everyone gets fair wages and is treated with respect! This government is a fu**ing joke!

  56. No. It means that the union is now in a membership-approved position to strike if and when other means don’t work (negotiation, mediation etc).

  57. EA's and ECE's may perform a work to rule, which means that they will not offer services that are beyond their job requirements. If a tentative agreement is not met then they will strike. This will close down some classrooms for kids with multiple exceptionalities (autism, non-verbal, behaviour etc.).

  58. Most likely nothing. Daycare workers are not unionized. Which is why it's so hard for daycares to staff AND retain staff as most qualified RECE's would (Obviously) prefer to work in a unionized position (more pay & benefits).

  59. I’m a cupe custodian and I can’t live off of my wages anymore. Any savings I had, have disappeared over the last two years. Going on strike is going to hurt my family that much more. $60 per day plus what my wife makes will not be enough. I will have to start looking for a second job before long.

  60. Some of the confusion here might be coming from the fact that Adult Ed instructors, not "teachers" are CUPE. Like other EWs, they mostly work full time and get paid 35K-ish. Most never get a permanent position and have to work another gig to make ends meet, and they often work through the summers as well.

  61. Ford is setting himself up for Harris' fate, which is totally unsurprising given that he's been running the Harris playbook pretty much since forming government. I guess we'll see how much of the 1990s people actually remember.

  62. I'm curious to see what happens with classes when CUPE goes out. Will Ford/Lecce try to force classes to go online? I'm guessing they'll just mandate CUPE back.

  63. No question support staff should be paid a lot more in the education system in Ontario. Unfortunately they get grouped together with teachers when most of the public think about wages in school.

  64. Go for it I understand a strike would be really difficult on parents but this is what has to happen people have to push back or the government will keep walking all over people

  65. Theyre not asking for 11% … the media has got to you … they’re asking for$3/hr raise for all employees … which the poorest ones it’s for 11%

  66. When you’re average salary is only $39,000, 11.7% is only $4,500/year. That’s still a barely livable wage, and amounts to about a $87/week increase, or like $2.50/hour.

  67. It’s sad but true. It’s sad that the critics only read headlines and don’t know that there is more than one union within the education sector in Ontario. It’s sad that they’re the ones who speak the loudest.

  68. It'll suck for everyone striking too. Missing a single paycheck these days is dangerous for most workers. Strike pay (which comes out of union dues) is less than 1/2 of what a worker normally makes.

  69. I suppose you are not strong in the reading capacity, these are not teachers. But early educators, janitors, librarians, etc..

  70. My developmental therapist job voted 99.1% in favour to strike, and no one seems to be talking about us, feels good man. We are also in the cupe union..

  71. The 1.25% is indeed ridiculous and I suspect the real concern is all the downstream implications of any raise. I have close friends who are teachers and make around $100k, which they deserve, but their pension and benefits are absolutely insane and well beyond reasonable. A close friend was on matleave, which is extended twice, and then bought into the pension top-up at a value that was way too low. All this is funded by general tax revenues and is unfair to non-government workers. I’m all for cupe and other government workers getting fair increases, but I also want to see benefits and pension entitlements reduced to better align with private sector workers.

  72. Why wouldn’t you rather see private sector benefits and pensions better align with CUPE schoolboard workers? It gives them a decent standard of living, not too much to ask for.

  73. Name a time in the past 60 years when education workers /teachers have ever been happy? Like health care, it's just another broken, outdated system that needs a renovation.

  74. We make poverty wages. I have a college degree, I have to wear mandated protective gear at work because it is expected for me to be physically assaulted every day, and I make 30k a year before taxes.

  75. When you’re average salary is only $39,000, 11.7% is only $4,500/year. That’s still a barely livable wage, and amounts to about a $87/week increase, or like $2.50/hour.

  76. Inflation was at 64% of that 11.7% request during our year-over-year peak alone and they've been pay capped for some time without any negotiations amid other high inflation years.

  77. This is the wrong way of thinking. As fellow workers we should be rooting for them to get what they're asking for, because it will open the door for people like you and I to also get more appropriate raises going forward because we can point to this type of thing as justification. Corporate executives have been doing this for decades. Ever wonder why executive pay has diverged so significantly from the rest of society?

  78. they’ve had their pay either frozen or capped at 1% increases for over the last decade, so even with an 11.7% increase, they’re still underpaid than what they would’ve been paid ten years ago, especially w how high inflation & the col has gotten

  79. So sick and tired of education workers in Ontario always complaining. They decided to get an easy but high paying job with great benefits that ranks just above working retail in terms of difficulty and respect, and yet are always complaining.

  80. CUPE jobs are not high paying, this is not the teachers union it is support staff. Maybe actually read about it next time before commenting.

  81. ….how is 39k on average a high paying job? Or are you confusing CUPE members with the teachers? Because this isn’t about teachers, they have a separate union.

  82. CUPE jobs are not easy not are they high paying. I make about $25/hour at 35 hours/week and only 10 months of the year. I have to wear arm guards and a padded jacket because I could get bit or scratched or even attacked on the daily. I deal with the screaming non-verbal child with autism at the back of the room. I stand outside alone in January when the kid with Down’s syndrome refuses to come inside after recess. So maybe I don’t deserve a raise but don’t you dare say we have an easy job. Get your facts straight before you post your garbage on Reddit.

  83. So unionize and stop taking "my employer will functionally pay me less and less each year" as a law of nature and treat it as something you have the power to negotiate.

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