CUPE education workers to picket at local government MPP constituency offices Friday

Pickets will be held at offices of Dave Smith in Peterborough, Laurie Scott in Lindsay, David Piccini in Port Hope, and Ric Bresee in Madoc

CUPE national president Mark Hancock speaking at a rally in downtown Toronto on November 1, 2022 organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour in response to the Ontario governemnt's "Keeping Students in Schools Act" which would impose a four-year contract on CUPE education workers and ban a strike. (Photo: CUPE Ontario / Facebook)
CUPE national president Mark Hancock speaking at a rally in downtown Toronto on November 1, 2022 organized by the Ontario Federation of Labour in response to the Ontario governemnt's "Keeping Students in Schools Act" which would impose a four-year contract on CUPE education workers and ban a strike. (Photo: CUPE Ontario / Facebook)

CUPE education workers and supporters in the greater Kawarthas region will be picketing at the constituency offices of local Ontario government MPPs from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday (November 4).

The picket lines will take place at the offices of Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith (1123 Water St., Peterborough), Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott (14 Lindsay St. N., Lindsay), Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini (117 Peter St., Port Hope), and Hastings-Lennox and Addington MPP Ric Bresee (6A St. Lawrence St. W., Madoc).

CUPE, which represents around 55,000 Ontario education workers — including librarians, custodians, and early childhood educators — is in a legal strike position as of Thursday and, on Monday, promised its members would walk off the job on Friday despite the Ontario government’s tabling of legislation imposing a four-year contract and banning strikes.

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On Thursday, the Ontario government is expected to pass its controversial legislation which invokes the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and nullifies the Ontario Human Rights Code.

“To pass it, they’ve invoked the notwithstanding clause, overriding the Charter’s protections of the fundamental right to the collective bargaining process,” CUPE Ontario states. “This is the first time in the history of Canada that a government has done so to pre-emptively end a labour action.”

“Education workers are the backbone of Ontario’s public education system and we’re fighting for a good deal to ensure high-quality education and services for kids. Whether you’re an education worker or an ally, come out to a picket line to send the Ford Conservatives a message and to secure a real deal.”

The Peterborough and District Labour Council is supporting CUPE education workers and is encouraging all workers to join the picket line at MPP Dave Smith’s constituency office at 2 p.m. on Friday.

“In addition, CUPE health care workers will be joining the line at 2 p.m. for an emergency rally,” the council writes on Facebook. “We are calling on all workers to join at this time if they are able.”