CUPE to end Ontario education worker protests after Ford promises legislation repeal


A union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers who walked off the job says protest sites “will be collapsed” starting Tuesday in response to Premier Doug Ford saying he will repeal legislation that imposed a contract on them.

Ford announced earlier in the day that he was willing to repeal the law that also banned the workers from striking and pre-emptively used the notwithstanding clause to guard against constitutional challenges.

The premier said he would only repeal the law if the Canadian Union of Public Employees stopped its walkout, which began Friday and shut hundreds of schools.

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says she hopes the union’s gesture of “good faith” in ending its walkout is met with similar good faith by the government at the bargaining table.

CUPE members walked off the job despite the law banning them from doing so, and the government had taken them to the Ontario Labour Relations Board on the legality of the job action. 

Hundreds of thousands of students were out of the classroom for a second day Monday, as many schools were closed to in-person learning as a result of the walkout.