At the time of the issuing of this memo, 55,000 education worker members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario School Board Council of Unions (CUPE-OSBCU) are in a legal strike position beginning Friday, November 4.
The Ford government introduced legislation on Monday, October 31, known as the Keeping Students in School Act. The government is rushing the passage of this legislation, which is likely to be given Royal Assent by the end of the day today, Thursday, November 3. The Act, which only affects members of CUPE-OSCBU, includes the following stipulations:
• makes any job action by CUPE-OBSCU illegal;
• imposes significant fines against individuals and the union if they take any job action;
• imposes a contract on the members of CUPE-OBSCU, ending their negotiations process;
• contains the notwithstanding clause, which would not allow for any kind of court challenge or judicial review of this Act; and
• eliminates any other avenues to challenge this act, such as the Human Rights Tribunal or the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
CUPE-OSBCU leadership has made it clear that they will be on strike tomorrow, Friday, November 4 if they have not reached a tentative agreement, regardless of whether their job action is legal or illegal. Many school boards that employ CUPE-OBSCU members have informed staff and parents about their plans if a strike by CUPE-OBSCU members occurs tomorrow.
OSSTF/FEESO teacher and education Members are NOT in a legal strike position and the Federation is continuing to negotiate at both the Education Worker Central Table and Teacher/Occasional Central Table. Members of OSSTF/FEESO are encouraged to show their support for CUPE-OSBCU education workers if they go on strike on Friday. Examples of how to show such support are set out below. However, OSSTF/FEESO Members must be aware of their obligations, especially if they are in a school board where CUPE-OSBCU staff are employed.
Picket Lines and Showing Up for Work
OSSTF/FEESO Members will receive direction from their employers as to work expectations. Some school boards have announced schools will close in the event of a CUPE-OSBCU strike. Other employers intend to keep schools open, or switch to emergency online learning. OSSTF/FEESO Members are obligated to follow their employer’s directions. Members should expect to be paid regardless of whether or not they are required to report to work. This includes Members on an LTO assignment.
During CUPE’s protest, OSSTF/FEESO Members should not do any work that is normally performed by the CUPE Bargaining Unit. If asked to perform such work by the employer, Members should report this immediately to their Bargaining Unit President, Cheryl Lampkin
The Provincial Executive will be joining CUPE picket lines on Friday.
Should OSSTF/FEESO Members encounter a picket line at their worksite:
In brief, Members should be respectful, show support for the CUPE members in the picket line and follow the protocols to cross when safe to do so. Report to work as you normally would. On unpaid time (before work, lunch, after work) consider going out to picket lines to walk with CUPE members.
Supporting CUPE-OSBCU Members
OSSTF/FEESO Members are strongly encouraged to show their support for striking CUPEOSBCU members. They can do so by doing the following actions:
• joining CUPE-OSBCU picket lines before work, after work, or during lunch breaks;
• wearing purple at work;
• sending a letter to the Premier, Minister of Education, and their local MPP through an email your MPP tool set up by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL); and
• using the attached “Don’t Block Fair Bargaining” posters, social media graphic, and handout to share OSSTF/FEESO support.
CUPE-OSBCU has indicated that they plan on setting up most of their picket lines at MPP offices across the province. CUPE-OSBCU has set up a Picket Line Finder tool to indicate where picket lines will be set up across the province.
We will share any additional information we receive from CUPE-OSBCU and/or the OFL.
If you have any questions or concerns please call me directly.
OSSTF/FEESO Don’t Block Fair Bargaining Resources
Do all UGDSB schools have CUPE custodial staff?
No. Some UGDSB schools are maintained through custodial staff that are non-unionized, contracted through a third-party vendor.
Please see below for the list of schools with CUPE custodial staff:
Arbour Vista PS
Brant Avenue PS
Brock Road Continuing Education
Centre Dufferin DHS
Centre Wellington DHS
College Heights SS
Credit Meadows ES
Drayton Heights PS
Edward Johnson PS
FA Hamilton PS
Gateway Drive PS
Grant Evans Education Centre
Guelph Board Office
Guelph Lakes PS
John McCrae PS
John F Ross CVI
John Galt PS
June Ave PS
King George PS
Kortright Hills PS
Montgomery Village PS
Ottawa Crescent PS
Paisley Road PS
Parkinson Centennial PS
Princess Elizabeth PS
Princess Margaret PS
Prior Park PS
Rickson Ridge PS
Sir Isaac Brock PS
Spencer Avenue ES
St. George’s Centre
Waverley Drive PS
Westminster Woods PS
Willow Road PS