Work-To-Rule action begins today at Ontario schools

Talks broke down at the weekend

Contract talks between CUPE (the union for some school board workers) and the Ontario government broke down Sunday, meaning a work-to-rule action is expected to begin today at schools across Ontario. (See directives from CUPE below).

The union represents maintenance and custodial staff at the Simcoe County District School Board and Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (clerical staff, educational assistants, early childhood educators in some other school boards).

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government and employers tabled a reasonable offer that addressed compensation, job security, and funding for additional staffing.

The union said it was not enough.

“It is deeply disappointing that CUPE has decided to end talks this weekend, and proceed with a partial withdrawal of services, despite a limited number of outstanding items at the table. During this period of job action, student safety will remain the utmost priority – a position I know we all share.”

— Education Minister Stephen Lecce

The province has asked for additional bargaining dates to bring everyone back to the table.

Schools will remain open to staff and students during the job action.

CUPE work-to-rule instructions for Custodial and Caretaker members:

  1. Only complete work orders received by supervisors, get detailed daily requests for work
    in writing.
  2. Do not remedy, complete or close work orders (ebase).
  3. Do not cover duties of unfilled (absences) member positions (complete your square
    footage/routine/block only).
  4. Do not Supervise student.
  5. Do not complete the ground maintenance (includes grass cutting, shovelling, etc.).
  6. Do not pick up garbage outside or empty outside garbage’s.
  7. Do not participate in recycling/compost programs.
  8. Do not attend Head custodian/caretaker meetings.
  9. Do not unlock interior doors for staff who are supplied their own keys.
  10. Do not carry or transport photocopy paper or packages.
  11. Don’t set up or take down chairs/tables etc. for any event or function school based or
    community use including elections.
  12. No cleaning of Ministry unfunded areas such as hallways, office areas and gymnasiums.
  13. No opening closed rooms for any purposes (safety inspection only).
  14. Do not verify co-workers’ absences or assign work.
  15. Do not use personal tools/equipment.

CUPE work-to-rule instructions for maintenance workers:

  1. Only complete work orders received by supervisors, get detailed daily requests for work
    in writing.
  2. Only complete tasks that have been provided in writing. No verbal requests.
  3. Do not remedy, complete or close “Remedy” work orders (ebase).
  4. Do not cover duties of unfilled member positions (complete your routine and work
    orders only).
  5. Do not supervise students.
  6. Do not allow others to perform our duties including student helpers/Coop/placement
    students.
  7. Prior to each use of a vehicle, complete a full safety check of the vehicle.
  8. Report all instances of outside contractors performing your work to local president.
  9. Complete repairs only if parts are in stock and on hand.
  10. No ordering, completing purchase orders or using employer purchasing card.
  11. Do not verify co-workers’ absences or assign work.
  12. Begin and end each day at assigned base.
  13. Travel only on work time, at posted speed limit.
  14. Do not use personal tools or equipment.
  15. Perform all safety equipment checks prior to performing tasks.