Education workers in Ontario begin work-to-rule campaign
Published Monday, September 30, 2019 6:26AM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 30, 2019 7:40PM EDT
Talks with the union representing thousands of education workers who launched a work-to-rule campagin on Monday could resume later this week, Ontario's education minister said.
The union representing 55,000 custodians, clerical workers and early childhood educators across the province began the campaign after last-minute mediation broke down over the weekend.
Stephen Lecce says he remains optimistic that in spite of the job action by CUPE today a deal can still be reached. But the union said it has not been offered any further mediation dates by the government.
CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions said it is willing to return to the bargaining table if there is a prospect of "meaningful progress."
Meanwhile, the Toronto District School Board released an advisory to parents on Sunday warning about a partial withdrawal of services, which include no sweeping of hallways, office areas and gyms.
It also said the schools will not be doing compost or recycling, and there won’t be any ground maintenance. A full list of services impacted is available on its website, the school board said.
“It is important to note that schools will remain open during this work-to-rule and instructional programs will continue to run” the advisory stated.
“During this time, principals and vice-principals will work together with staff to maintain a caring and positive school environment for students.”
The union representing the workers told CTV News Toronto that despite the work-to-rule campaign, student safety will still be top of mind. For example, workers will no longer be picking up discarded litter, like juice boxes, from the school grounds, but if a discareded syringe was located they would pick that up.
Contracts for Ontario's public school teachers and education workers expired Aug. 31, and the major unions are in various stages of bargaining.
With files from The Canadian Press