A reader has submitted for publication the following letter that she sent this week to Stephen Lecce, Minister for Education; Premier Doug Ford; and John Yakabuski MPP
Attention to all of you named above:
I am writing to express my objection and concern re the province’s move to legislate school board support staff back to work. Especially disturbing is the invocation of the “notwithstanding” clause which I understood would be utilized in unique and rare occasions. Negotiations for school board collective agreements are NOT unique nor rare undertakings. The Ministry of Education should be quite accustomed to these negotiations given that they occur every few years with several different employee groups.
Or does this move foreshadow the Ministry of Education plans to erode and end collective bargaining for all school board employee groups?
These CUPE school board support staff have a legal right to bargain their collective agreements. To take away this right is abhorrent and nothing more than strong-arm tactics against the lowest paid school board workers who are predominantly women. This is a vile and irresponsible action on the provincial legislature’s part!
I urge the Minister of Education, Steven Lecce, and the province’s negotiation committee, to get back to the bargaining table immediately and practice negotiating, not intimidating!
These hard-working front-line school board employees deserve better wages after so many years of no or very low wage increases and due to current inflation wreaking havoc on many people’s everyday budgets.
These same employees deserve to be treated respectfully, not threatened with legislated terms in their collective agreement and especially NOT threatened with $4000/day fines for striking.
There are myriad ways to reach an agreement. Please find them NOW!
Eden Guidroz, Barry’s Bay
Concerned citizen of Ontario
Above: empty library at St. John Bosco School Barry’s Bay (photo rccdsb)