Dear UTFA Colleagues,
Today, the provincial government announced heavy-handed legislation that imposes a four-year contract on 55,000 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers. Bill 28 is rushing through the legislature right now and undermines and disrupts these workers’ rights to free and fair collective bargaining. Worse still, this Bill invokes the notwithstanding clause to override any potential Charter challenge, and explicitly intends to overrule the Human Rights Act.
It is important to stress the sexist and racist pattern of this government’s actions. Not only did Bill 124 impose a wage-increase cap on the public sector jobs in which women comprise the majority of workers. But also, Bill 28 targets education workers who are predominantly female and racialized, who are among the lowest-paid education workers, and who have been subjected to a decade of significant wage suppression.
UTFA calls on Premier Ford and Minister of Education Lecce to reverse course and negotiate in good faith with CUPE to reach a fair deal. We stand in solidarity with all who insist that our provincial government must commit to free and fair collective bargaining, uphold the Charter rights of all workers, and invest significantly in public education.
We encourage you to speak out against the proposed legislation in one or more of the following ways:
- Join UTFA’s contingent at today’s 5 PM emergency rally outside the Ministry of Labour (400 University Ave., south of St. Patrick TTC station).
- Learn more about the issues, including by reading OCUFA’s statement of solidarity with education workers and condemnation of the government’s back-to-work legislation, here.
- Contact your MPP to express your concerns.
- Telephone the Premier (416-325-1941) and or the Minister of Education (416-325-2600) and leave a message opposing Bill 28.
This current conflict is part of a broader pattern that affects us all.
UTFA Vice-President, University & External Affairs