Ontario education workers’ union takes step toward strike

Union represents maintenance and custodial at SCDSB, custodial staff at SMCDSB


A union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers — such as custodians, librarians and early childhood educators — says it has requested what’s known as a “no board” report, which could put them in a legal strike position in less than three weeks.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says it has reached an impasse in contract talks with the provincial government.

It has now requested a “no board” report, and if the conciliator then issues one — a decision that usually takes a couple of days — it sets a 17-day countdown to the union being in a legal strike position.

Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, says there is still an opportunity to negotiate, but she says the union needs to take this step to increase pressure on the government.

She has not indicated if education workers would engage in a full strike, start with a work-to-rule campaign, or take some other course of action.

CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent and the government in response has offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers.

Banner image: Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce speaks with media following the Speech from the Throne at Queen’s Park in Toronto, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2022.