TORONTO — The Ontario government and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are each holding morning news conferences as provincial education workers remain off the job.
Premier Doug Ford and Education Minister Stephen Lecce are set to hold a 9 a.m. news conference at Queen’s Park, where a demonstration against the legislation that imposed a contract on 55,000 provincial education workers and took away their right to strike will also take place.
CUPE has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. to discuss the pushback to Bill 28.
The union’s national president will be joined by national and provincial labour leaders including representatives from the Canadian Labour Congress and the Ontario Federation of Labour.
The protest comes as CUPE, the provincial government, parents and students await a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board on the legality of the strike that began Friday, when thousands of workers walked off the job.
CUPE says its education-worker members will remain off the job regardless of the labour board’s decision.
The government is seeking a ruling that their walkout is illegal, while CUPE contends the job action is a form of legitimate political protest.
Board Chair Brian O’Byrne heard arguments over the course of 16 hours on Saturday and another eight hours on Sunday, before promising to come to a decision as quickly as possible.
The strike closed numerous schools across the province Friday and even more are set to shut on Monday should the work stoppage continue.