Ontario’s offer to education workers insufficient to keep with living costs: union

Classroom FI

TORONTO — The union representing public high school teachers says the raises the province is offering education workers in a proposed four-year deal aren’t enough to keep up with the cost of living.

Karen Littlewood, president of the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers’ Federation, weighed in today on the proposal the government tabled earlier this week in bargaining with the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The proposed deal, which would offer a two per cent raise to education workers making less than $40,000 a year and a 1.25 per cent raise to everyone else, gave a first indication of what the Progressive Conservative government is seeking in deals also being negotiated with the four major teachers’ unions.

Littlewood says her union is still in the early stages of bargaining and has yet to receive an offer from the province, but she expects to see a similar proposal.

CUPE has asked the province for annual raises of 11.7 per cent — or $3.25 per hour — arguing workers’ wages have been restricted over the last decade and inflation has been high.

The previous contracts were subject to legislation known as Bill 124, introduced by the government in 2019, that capped wage increases to one per cent a year for three years for public sector workers.



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