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Ontario CUPE education worker members to release ratification vote results

More than 50,000 education workers in Ontario began voting Thursday on whether to accept the tentative deal their union struck with the province in November
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Laura Walton, an educational assistant from Belleville, ON, is president of CUPE’s 55,000 member Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU).

The Canadian Public Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will release the results of its contract ratification vote tomorrow.

Online voting began Nov. 24 and will end Sunday, two weeks after the union’s central bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with the provincial government to avert a strike earlier in the month. 

CUPE has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Monday at Queen’s Park. The union initially planned to unveil the results on Tuesday.

"For the last week and a half, frontline education workers have been deciding if what’s in this tentative agreement is acceptable," said Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) in a Dec. 2 press release. "This – workers having the freedom to negotiate and to withdraw our labour if necessary – is democracy in action.”

Representing 55,000 education workers, CUPE officials are recommending members ratify the four-year contract, which has an average wage increase of 3.59 per cent each year. That equates to an annual dollar-per-hour raise. 

If CUPE members vote to reject the latest deal, both sides may return to bargaining and another strike notice is possible. 

Education Minister Stephen Lecce thanked education workers for reaching an agreement. 

"I'm just grateful we came together in the interests of our kids and put them first," Lecce said Nov. 24. 

 

This article was written with files from The Canadian Press.

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