Ford says he’ll roll back CUPE legislation if educational workers go back to work

Lambton CUPE workers at MPP Bob Bailey's office.

Premier Doug Ford says he’ll walk back controversial back-to-work legislation in its dispute with CUPE.

The union launched a political protest Friday after the government imposed a contract on the workers and used the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. CUPE represents custodians, educational assistants, and secretaries are out on the picket line again today.

Ford at a news conference this morning said he’d be willing to sit back down at the negotiating table and rescind the imposed contract which gave those making $43,000 2.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent to $43,000.

“CUPE please accept this offer…take strike action off the table and get our kids back to school,” said Ford.

Ford added he didn’t regret imposing the back-to-work legislation saying CUPE is at fault for “walking away from the table.”

The provincial mediator actually ended the talks saying the two sides were too far apart to reach an agreement.

When Ford was asked if he had miscalculated by passing the legislation he said; “This is nothing we did; this is on CUPE.”

“Stop the strike, get into the classroom,” Ford said adding then the negotiations could restart. “This is a massive olive branch; I’ll rescind Section 33 (the notwithstanding clause) based on them going back into the classroom…Once they do that, we sit down at the table and negotiate a fair deal.

“We need them to come back.”