A tentative agreement has been reached between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4155, representing 250 education workers, and their employer, the Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO).The workers have been on strike since February 7.
The workers have been on strike since February 7.
No details of the agreement will be released until the members have had an opportunity to review and ratify the tentative deal. Ratification meetings will be scheduled Monday, February 13.
As employees picketed its head office in L’Orignal Tuesday morning, Le Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien said that its schools remain open and buses would continue to roll.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4155 members began demonstrating after contract talks broke down last week.
Each side was blaming the other for the impasse at the French-language Catholic board which administers 25 elementary and eight secondary schools, with a total enrolment of over 10,000, in Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry and Prescott-Russell.
CUPE 4155 represents supervisors, school administrators, clerks, maintenance workers, library technicians and IT technicians at the CSDCEO.
The CSDCEO is still the only school board in Ontario without a local collective agreement with its education workers. “But now its refusal to reach a deal at the bargaining table has taken its employees – members of CUPE 4155 – to the brink of a strike,” the union stated.
But the board replies that union negotiators chose to leave the bargaining table.
At a session February 1, conciliators proposed new dates for negotiations. These dates were accepted by the CSDCEO, but were rejected by the union, the board says. CUPE subsequently issued a notice of intention to strike.
“During the many negotiating meetings, CSDCEO has always negotiated in good faith and proposed different solutions. We believe it is possible to avoid a labor dispute, since all monetary issues have already been determined by central agreements. The CSDCEO remains willing to negotiate with CUPE and does not want a labor dispute,” insisted board director of education François Turpin.
If the labour dispute continues, all necessary steps will be taken to ensure the safety and welfare of students and staff, the board said.
“We have been extremely patient with our employer, so that we could avoid just such a labour dispute,” said Raymond Giroux, president of CUPE 4155.
“But after 12 bargaining dates and the impasse we reached in negotiations – even working with conciliators – we realized that, unfortunately, the time had come to take job action, up to and including a full strike.”
The Canadian Union of Public Employees could take job action today (February 7) at schools operated by Le Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO). The French-language Catholic system, which includes École Elda Rouleau in Alexandria, is still the only school board in Ontario without a local collective agreement with its education workers. After two years in negotiations with the board, CUPE 4155 has given the required five days’ notice of a strike, which is scheduled to take place beginning Tuesday, February 7. More details as they become available.
Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter (centre) meets Upper Canada District School Board trustee Wendy MacPherson and her daughter, Morgan, during a tour of Glengarry District High School in Alexandria Tuesday. The minister also visited Char-Lan District High School in Williamstown and schools in Long Sault and Cornwall.
Read how Char-Lan students got a slap on the wrist for last Friday's demonstration.