A protracted and controversial negotiating process has come to a conclusion after Ontario’s education support staff approved a new contract with the provincial government.
A great outcome that keeps kids learning in class. pic.twitter.com/qPhqNHdsFu
— Stephen Lecce (@Sflecce) December 5, 2022
The ratification of the contract was announced on Monday morning by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents around 55,000 workers.
The majority of members—roughly 73%—voted to accept the tentative agreement, according to the bargaining committee.
OSBCU 2022 Bargaining Update # 48| Négociation du CSCSO 2022 – Mise à jour no 48 -Ratfication Vote Results #WorkerVoice #WorkerPowerDoesntEnd #OnPoli #OntEd https://t.co/ipKIoxnW5L pic.twitter.com/TXRjB6VQ6b
— OSBCU-CSCSO (@osbcucscso) December 5, 2022
In a statement, the union said that “education employees have obtained a collective agreement that did not impose requirements through law for the first time in a decade.”
With over 76% of members voting in favor of ratification, the union claimed to have had “unprecedented member involvement.”
A $1 flat rate hourly wage rise for all employees, or roughly 3.59 percent annually, will be provided under the new contract. For the union’s lowest paid members, this would, according to the government, result in a “substantial salary hike.”
The Bill 28 legislation, which required workers to sign a smaller contract and made strikes unlawful, resulted in two days of work being taken off in a political protest, which the bargaining committee also succeeded in recovering compensation for.
A tentative agreement was only achieved after education employees agreed to cease their province-wide strike in exchange for the government repealing the legislation.