Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3904

Solidarity with Ontario's Education Workers

CUPE Local 3904 Stands in Solidarity with Ontario’s Education Workers

CUPE Ontario’s 55,000 K-12 education workers have been without a contract since August 30. Until just recently, the union’s bargaining team was in mediation. Despite reducing their financial demands, this hasn’t been enough to bring the Ford government back to the bargaining table.

Instead, the government is choosing to misuse the notwithstanding clause, Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that allows the government to temporarily override fundamental rights and freedoms. Invoking this clause means imposing a contract on workers and undermining their right to negotiate freely through collective bargaining.

But this isn’t just about these education workers. It’s about every union in Ontario. If the Ford government forces these workers to remain on the job while taking away their ability to negotiate for higher wages amid rising inflation and without the legal right to strike, then every union in the province is under threat—including CUPE Local 3904 at TMU.

Despite the government’s position, Ontario’s K-12 education workers are still planning a walkout starting tomorrow, Friday, November 4. Most school boards, including the TDSB, have announced they will close schools to maintain student safety. Please be supportive of members who may have to make alternative childcare or working arrangements.

Finally, CUPE Ontario has created a campaign to raise awareness of these important issues, including the state of negotiations. The website also includes information on demonstrations and picket lines that are open to all. I encourage members to learn more about this labour dispute and the threat the Ford government poses to our collective bargaining rights.

In solidarity,

Catherine Jenkins
VP Campaigns & Equity

Image credit: CUPE National