DURHAM, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – April 20, 2015) – CUPE Ontario sends a message of support and solidarity to the members of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) who began a strike in Durham Region today.
CUPE Ontario is the province’s community union, representing 255,000 members in cities, towns and villages all across the province, including 55,000 education workers in schools across Ontario.
“Today we send a clear message of solidarity on behalf of all CUPE Ontario members to those education workers who are beginning strike action today in Durham region,” said Fred Hahn, president of CUPE Ontario. “CUPE members who work in schools across the province, including in Durham Region, will do all we can do to support the effort of these workers and their union, the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) to achieve a fair collective agreement.”
Teachers at the Durham District School Board represented by OSSTF began strike action on Monday April 20, due to a lack of meaningful collective bargaining and proposals tabled that would result in concessions from their collective agreements.
“Now, when the parties have been legislated into a completely new bargaining process, is not the time to re-write and strip the collective agreements, especially in light of the significant losses as a result of Bill 115,” said Terri Preston, chair of the School Boards co-ordinating and central bargaining committee of CUPE Ontario.
“No matter which education workers we’re talking about, it’s the same for us all. Our working conditions are students’ learning conditions. The Government cannot expect education workers to sit idly by while they are treated without the respect and consideration they deserve for the significant contributions they make to the education system,” said Preston.
In the Durham region, as in all other communities across Ontario, CUPE represents thousands of members who work in municipalities, universities, school boards, social services, airlines and healthcare.
“We will work to build support for these picket lines in Durham from all CUPE members in Durham region and the GTA,” said Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer of CUPE Ontario. “The fight for fairness being taken on by OSSTF education workers is our fight, and with support and solidarity, when these workers win, we all do – including the thousands of children and families who rely on the skill and passion of these dedicated education workers.”
• Andrea Addario