CUPE Announces Strike Action; OECTA Provincial Bargaining Continues

Yesterday, on November 16, education workers from the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU), represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), gave their legally required five-days notice and will implement a full withdrawal of their services starting Monday, November 21. This means CUPE employees will not be performing any of their duties, and picket lines will likely be set up outside schools. The presence of CUPE staff in schools varies across, and within, school boards, and each board will respond differently. However, many teachers will be affected by the strike.

You are reminded that OECTA is not in a legal strike position. When one union is on strike, it is
permissible for members of other unions at the same worksite to report for work – this does not
constitute “crossing the picket line.” You are expected to report to work and perform your usual duties.
Failure to do so could result in discipline from the employer and/or the Ontario College of Teachers.
OECTA members are not to do the work of CUPE members. If directed by school/board administration
to do so, request that direction in writing, comply with the directive, and advise your local OECTA unit as
soon as possible.

For detailed instructions about members’ roles and responsibilities in the event of CUPE job action, please
review THIS DOCUMENT or visit the Members’ Area of

Show Your Support
There are a number of ways that Catholic teachers can demonstrate your solidarity and support for CUPE
education workers in their fight for a fair deal.

  • Join CUPE education workers on the picket/protest line, but only on your own time (i.e., in the morning
    prior to the 15 minutes before the start of school, after school, or at lunchtime, but not during assigned
    duties or preparatory and planning time), if invited to do so.
  • Catholic teachers are also encouraged to demonstrate support by providing snacks or beverages to your
    CUPE colleagues.
  • Wear purple in solidarity.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

OECTA Provincial Bargaining Continues
On November 15 and 16, the OECTA Provincial Bargaining Team (PBT) met with representatives of the Government of Ontario (Crown) and the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association (OCSTA), to continue negotiations for the renewal of the central terms of our collective agreement.

This was the first meeting of the parties since reaching an agreement on a majority of the items in the “scope” of negotiations, to determine which matters will be addressed at the central bargaining table, and which will be addressed in local bargaining. Talks over the two days were respectful and some progress was made. The next tentative dates are November 29 and 30.

The Association will continue to keep you apprised of relevant information on these proceedings and any
new information as it becomes available.

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