An education workers’ union is launching an advertising campaign designed to influence the ongoing contract negotiations with the provincial government and to claim the current offer is “insulting” to the lowest earning employees in Ontario’s schools.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents 55,000 school support workers, is also set to hold strike votes with members in September in the hopes of pressuring the Ford government into increasing its offer to the union.
Citing the rising cost of living in Ontario, CUPE asked the government for yearly increases of 11.7 per cent, which works out to an hourly raise of $3.25.
The Ford government, however, offered a yearly increase of two per cent to education workers who make less than $40,000 a year, and a 1.25 per cent increase to other members in a four-year deal.
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“We’re calling on Stephen Lecce and Doug Ford to rescind their insulting offer, pay workers a decent wage, and invest in more staff to provide the services students rely on,” said Laura Walton who represents the Ontario School Boards Council of Unions.
“It’s within Doug Ford’s power to direct his negotiators to hammer out a deal that puts students and workers first right now,” Walton said in a statement.
To emphasize the point, the union launched a new website filled with testimonials from workers and arguments on why the government should increase wages by 11 per cent a year.
The union also launched radio advertising, which the union said would blanket music and talk radio stations province-wide with a “comprehensive” ad buy.