If all goes according to plan, walk-outs in schools could happen at month’s end according to a major union representing education workers in Ontario following overwhelming support for strike action. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says 93 per cent of its 55,000 members voted in favour of job action, putting them in a legal strike position as of Sept. 30.
The union says that while it intends to continue bargaining with the Ontario government and hopes to avoid a strike, its members are concerned about recent changes to the province’s education system.
The measures include increases to average class sizes, shifts towards online learning models and a gradual reduction in the number of working teachers.
The changes were implemented over the past year by the Progressive Conservatives under Premier Doug Ford.
The president of CUPE’s bargaining unit says members are prepared to walk off the job in order to push back against what they see as cuts that will compromise the quality of education in Ontario’s schools.
Meanwhile parents are bracing for the worst. Hardly has school begun and the possibility of kids being home again will be disappointing for students themselves adjusting to the demands of a new school year. A major disruption could affect the academic performance of kids who will be forced to compress more in a shorter period of time depending when the strike begins and more importantly, when it ends. -CINEWS