Ontario’s education minister says province’s offer to CUPE ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’

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Ontario’s education minister has defended the government’s concession to one of the province’s education unions, saying the latest move to signal a possible strike is “not fair on families.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) announced Monday that education workers, early childhood educators, custodians and school administrative staff under the Ontario Council of School Boards voted 96.5 percent in favor of a strike.

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The province offers raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers, while CUPE is seeking an annual increase of 11.7 per cent.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Stephen Less said the government was trying to prevent a strike from taking place, which could put children’s classroom time at risk.

“We recommend it [our] The offer is reasonable. It is unfair that our signing with CUPE is the basis for negotiations with all other teachers’ unions. It’s a sector-wide increase of almost $20 billion,” Lecce told CBC Radio Metro morning On Tuesday.

“It’s costing taxpayers money, right? So it’s from a government perspective.”

Ask | Education Minister Stephen Less on CUPE’s move to vote in favor of strike action:

Metro morning9:01CUPE’s strike vote puts children’s classroom time at risk, says Ontario’s education minister

Stephen Less defended the province’s offer to unionized workers, saying the compensation package was ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’.

CUPE is asking for five extra paid days before the start of the school year, 30 minutes of paid preparation time each day and overtime pay multiplied by 1.5 to 2, the government said.

CUPE said more than 80 percent of its 55,000 academic staff voted in 10 days.

Compensation package is ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’

Before a strike can occur, the union must ask the conciliator to issue a “no board” statement, meaning an agreement cannot be reached. Once that report is served, the union will be on legal strike for 17 days and must give five days’ notice of any work action.

Asked if not keeping up with inflation rates would mean pay cuts for education workers, Lecce defended the province’s offer to union workers, saying the compensation package was “fair” and “responsible.”

“When we look at the total investment we’ve made for this program, we believe that in terms of benefits, sick leave and pay, what we’ve provided is actually more than many. [have],” he said.

“I think this education union is on strike before the government gives them our first proposal,” Les said. “It’s not fair to the families.”

‘School is not normal. School is not stable’

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Board Council of Unions, said retention and recruitment issues are currently affecting schools across the province.

“Right now, school is not normal. School is not stable,” Walton told CBC Radio. Metro morning On Tuesday.

Walton has said the government’s offer of an extra $800 a year for the average worker falls far short of what is being asked for.

“Most academic workers earn an average of $39,000 a year, and they work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and they’re asking this government for a real pay rise,” he said.

“We have to understand that these are parents, too, and they want this school year to go smoothly. But they also want to put food on the table.”

The union said bargaining dates with the government are scheduled for Thursday, Friday and October 17 and 18.

Ontario’s education minister says province’s offer to CUPE ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’

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Ontario’s education minister says province’s offer to CUPE ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’

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Ontario’s education minister says province’s offer to CUPE ‘fair’ and ‘responsible’

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