On Sept. 11, the Ontario government passed Bill 115 — the Putting Students First Act — stripping away the right to free collective bargaining of all education workers across Ontario.
It is important for the public to know that Bill 115 is not just about teachers. It affects over 55,000 CUPE members working as custodians, secretaries, educational assistants, early childhood educators, library technicians, special education workers and all other school board support staff across Ontario.
Bill 115 gives unprecedented power to the minister of education and cabinet to interfere in all collective agreements in the education sector. It also sets out conditions which must be included in collective agreements – those conditions being the same as those reached between the government and a teachers’ union (OECTA). That deal imposes a wage freeze; it ends banked sick time, cuts available sick days and, among other things, contains unpaid days of work.
Bill 115 also gives the minister of education the power to review, approve or rewrite any collective agreement, or any provision of the agreement in the next two years.
What’s next? The other approximately 200,000 CUPE members in Ontario?
Please support all CUPE members by lobbying your MPP to repeal Bill 115.
Nancy Blackborow, CUPE 3396