TORONTO — The union representing roughly 55,000 Ontario education workers will announce today the results of a ratification vote on a tentative deal it struck with the province.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is expected to unveil the vote results during a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m.
The result could send the union back to the bargaining table with the Ontario government in what has been a tense labour dispute.
Education workers walked off the job for two days last month after the government passed — then later repealed — legislation that imposed a contract on them, banned them from striking, and used the notwithstanding clause to allow the override of certain charter rights.
The two sides later returned to the table and brokered a tentative deal on Nov. 20 that the union says comes with a $1-per-hour raise each year, or about 3.59 per cent annually, for the average worker.
But Laura Walton, the president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, has expressed reservations about the deal because it doesn’t include new staffing level guarantees.
“For the last week and a half, frontline education workers have been deciding if what’s in this tentative agreement is acceptable. This – workers having the freedom to negotiate and to withdraw our labour if necessary – is democracy in action,” Walton said in a statement.
After the tentative deal was struck, Education Minister Stephen Lecce thanked education workers and said he was grateful the two sides “came together in the interest of our kids and put them first.”