Province unlikely to fine individual CUPE workers who strike Friday, sources say

Click to play video: 'Tensions flare over Ontario’s plan to use notwithstanding clause to quash education strike'
Tensions flare over Ontario’s plan to use notwithstanding clause to quash education strike
WATCH ABOVE: The Ontario government says it will use the notwithstanding clause of the Charter and Rights and Freedoms to stop thousands of school workers, including educators, librarians, and custodians, from going on strike. Colin D'Mello explains how a months-long labour dispute reached this boiling point, as critics and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say the province's plan goes too far – Nov 1, 2022

The Ford government is unlikely to levy fines against individual education workers in Ontario if a planned strike goes ahead on Friday, Global News has learned.

The province and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are locked in a battle over contract negotiations.

The union has vowed to strike on Friday, while the government has tabled legislation that would outlaw the strike, impose a new contract on workers and levy fines on those found guilty of breaking the new anti-strike laws.

However, government sources speaking on background to share details of ongoing negotiations with the union, said the province was unlikely to levy the fines of up to $4,000 against individual workers.

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They said the government would likely target the union itself with $500,000 per day fines, as opposed to going after the “little guy,” which would run counter to “the Premier’s brand.”

Global News has learned CUPE’s latest offer amounted to an average increase of roughly six per cent for four years.

However, the union said different CUPE workers earn different salaries, and they are bargaining for a specific dollar increase for all staff. That would mean a different rate of increase for different workers.

The union called the six per cent figure “false information.”

Both sides confirmed the new offer had been rejected by the government.


It is understood the Ford government would withdraw its proposed legislation if CUPE took its plans to strike away for the foreseeable future, an option the government acknowledged was unlikely.

On Wednesday, the union said it would be on strike beginning Friday “until further notice.”

The legislation is expected to be passed by around 5 p.m. on Thursday.


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