Ontario to introduce education contract today to avert looming support staff strike


Ontario’s education minister is planning to introduce legislation today to avert a looming strike by support staff and impose a contract on them, which the union says it intends to fight.

Stephen Lecce says the legislation is in response to the refusal by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents about 55,000 education workers, to withdraw their intent to strike.

He is set to introduce the legislation at 1 p.m. and hold a news conference an hour later.

Lecce announced the move on Sunday, hours after CUPE said it was giving the required five-day notice to start a full strike on Friday — they will be in a legal strike position on Thursday.

The government had been offering raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all others.

Lecce says the new deal would give 2.5-per-cent annual raises to workers making less than $43,000 and 1.5 per cent raises for all others.

CUPE has been seeking several changes, including annual salary increases of 11.7 per cent, overtime at twice the regular pay rate and 30 minutes of paid prep time per day for educational assistants and ECEs.