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UPDATE: Province rejects CUPE counter offer, strike of education workers likely

UPDATE, 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 3

Better make plans now if you haven’t already for your kids beginning tomorrow.

The province has rejected a counter offer from the union representing 55,000 educational support workers.  CUPE says its educational support workers will go on strike Friday and stay off the job indefinitely until a negotiated agreement with the province is hammered out.

The Toronto Star reports the new deal from the Canadian Union of Public Employees dropped their demand of a salary increase from 11-point-seven percent to five percent annually over the life of the contract.

However, when contacted by the Vista Radio National News Desk, CUPE spokesperson Laura Walton says they cannot comment on the details of the offer as part of the confidentiality agreement with the independent mediator.

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But Walton says they did offer substantial movement in their demands of the province in the interest of reaching an agreement.

How the province rejected the union’s counter offer is not known as Education Minister Stephen Lecce said yesterday, they would not continue to negotiate with the union unless it dropped the strike mandate for Friday.

We have reached out to the province for comment but have had no response.

Wednesday, Nov. 2, 12 noon

“Remove the threat of a strike.”

That from Ontario’s Education Minister to the union representing 55,000 educational workers.

Stephen Lecce says the province will not engage in any further negotiations with CUPE until they withdraw the threat of a strike on Friday.

CUPE has sent the province a counter-offer and says it remains committed to negotiate with the province.

However, CUPE says if there is no negotiated agreement by Friday, a strike will take place.

The Ford government is trying to push legislation through that would force a contract on the union membership and by using the notwithstanding clause removes the union’s right to strike.

Earlier Wednesday, Queen’s Park descended into chaos as 18 NDP MPPs, including the interim leader, were ordered to leave the legislature after calling Premier Doug Ford and Lecce liars and pounding their desks.

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