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Education workers, Ontario government at impasse in contract talks, union says

TORONTO — A union representing 55,000 Ontario education workers such as custodians, librarians and early childhood educators says it has reached an impasse in bargaining with the government.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says if there is no real movement by the end of the day they will request what’s known as a “no board” report, which indicates a deal can’t be reached.

If a conciliator then issues a “no board” report, it sets a 17-day countdown to the union being in a legal strike position.

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Laura Walton, president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions, didn’t say if education workers would engage at that point in a full strike or a work-to-rule campaign.

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government is at the table ready to reach a fair deal, and he has called CUPE’s demands unreasonable.

The government has offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers, while CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent.

© 2022 The Canadian Press