This time its about more staff

CUPE workers protest in front of Bob Bailey's office during contract negotiations in November 2022. CUPE and the Lambton-Kent District School Board have finally ratified the agreement reached in November.

CUPE may go on strike Monday

Educational workers in Ontario may be on the picket line again Monday.

CUPE – which represents education assistants, early childhood educators, custodians and secretaries – issued five day notice of a strike Wednesday morning.

The union says it has reached agreement with the province on wages, however provincial government negotiators are not budging on increasing staffing in the schools.

CUPE wants guarantees of

  • more educational assistants
  • an early childhood educator in every kindergarten classroom
  • more library workers to make sure school libraries are open a
  • more custodians, maintenance workers and tradespeople to begin to tackle the $16 billion repair backlog
  • adequate staffing of secretaries in school offices and enough lunchroom supervisors to keep students safe.

CUPE says the province cut education funding by at least $800 per student over its first term. With two million students in Ontario’s schools, that amounted to a $1.6 billion cut in funding last year alone.

“If this government was serious about their plan to catch up, they’d listen to the workers who do the most to support learners and they’d put an early childhood educator in every kindergarten class and provide more students with the direct support of an educational assistant,” said CUPE Ontario President Laura Walton in a news release. “We’ve heard from parents desperate for these improvements. We felt their support at our protests across the province. And we’re not going to turn our backs on students, parents, and families.”