Toronto (03 Nov. 2022) — Education workers, represented by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO/NUPGE) will walk off the job this Friday in a monumental show of solidarity with their CUPE colleagues who are set to stage a province-wide protest against Stephen Lecce and the Ford government’s Bill 28.
Ontario government attacks constitutionally protected right to strike
Bill 28, which is a legislative attack on workers’ constitutional right to fair and free collective bargaining, was introduced on October 31 after CUPE gave its 5 days’ notice for job action. It set the possibility of a strike starting on Friday, November 4. Bill 28 preemptively prohibits these workers’ right to strike, imposes massive fines, imposes 4-year-long collective agreements, and invokes the notwithstanding clause to preclude any legal action against Ford’s unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt at strong-arming.
Bill 28 isn’t just an attack on education workers’ collective bargaining rights, it is an attack on all workers’ rights. And after hearing from hundreds of our education workers and their local leaders who want to support their CUPE colleagues, our response to this unprecedented legislative overstep is clear: OPSEU/SEFPO education workers will walk out in solidarity with their CUPE colleagues this Friday.
OPSEU/SEFPO/NUPGE education workers to join rallies
In a letter to their education members, JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President and Laurie Nancekivell, First Vice-President/Treasurer wrote, "You’ve told us that the attack on education workers by Stephen Lecce and the Ford government this week is so harmful that we have to do everything we can to fight for our rights. We have heard you. We will support every OPSEU/SEFPO education worker who does not attend work this Friday. If you are not attending work, join the nearest CUPE picket rally, if you can."
"Your union will have your back. You will not have to pay any fines. And you will have the full force of OPSEU/SEFPO behind you should your employer attempt to enact any discipline. We have 8,000 education workers in our union. If you all walk out together on Friday, there is safety in numbers. Talk to your colleagues. Make plans with them to attend a nearby CUPE rally together."
Show your support
You can show your support for education workers being paid fairly to care for the children of this province by joining a rally near you. You can find the nearest CUPE rally to you by postal code.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 400,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.
While our Components are located from coast to coast, the office of the National Union of Public and General Employees is situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
We recognize and acknowledge the crimes that have been committed and the harm that has been done.
And, we dedicate ourselves, as a union, to moving forward in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and striving for justice. — NUPGE