Letters to the Editor Column – The Toronto Sun – Sun Aug 16 2015 – Section: Editorial/Opinion Column: Letters to the Editor

In light of the crisis that most are forecasting to take place in Ontario schools this coming September, my hope is that education support staff are not overlooked. Although I am in total support of the actions that Ontario teachers have taken, and that they will continue to take, I feel compelled to remind your readers that CUPE education workers have also been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2014.

We are amongst the lowest wage earners within the Ontario education sector and in terms of bargaining priority, we are often overlooked. We are the most precarious workers that the education sector employs. We are the first staff arriving at schools in the morning, the last staff to leave at night and we perform physically demanding jobs, often in the harshest of conditions.

We do not feel that the Ministry of Education wants to bargain with us in good faith. Bill 122 was supposed to fix that. It hasn’t! All it has done is create another layer of bureaucracy that must be contended with before anything meaningful (hopefully) can be done. We are also important cogs in the education wheel and while it seems that everyone else is driving this bus, my hope is that our plight is not forgotten.

Dan Bouchard, President of CUPE Local 2544, Peel DSB.