Education workers hold Solidarity Saturday

CUPE workers protest in front of Bob Bailey's office Saturday during contract negotiations in November.

Education workers might be back in the classroom but they are still keeping the pressure on Premier Doug Ford and his Progressive Conservative government to rescind Bill 28 and negotiate a fair collective bargaining agreement for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) members.

Dubbed Solidarity Saturday, protests were held at the constituency offices of Progressive Conservative MPPs on Nov. 12. Over 150 were marching in front of the constituency office of Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey on Christina Street in Point Edward. Joining the CUPE members were representatives from the teacher unions, the correctional workers and UNIFOR.

“We are standing by, not standing down,” said Michele Lalonge-Davey, president of CUPE Local 1238.

The Ford government is expected to today rescind Bill 28, Keeping Students in Class Act, which imposed a contract on CUPE members and made any strike illegal. It also enacted the notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect against any constitutional challenges.

Education workers, which include education assistants, early childhood educators, school secretaries, computer technicians, librarians and custodians, went back to work on Tuesday, Nov. 8 after keeping schools closed for two days. Ford promised to go back to the negotiating table if CUPE stopped its walkout.