OPSEU/SEFPO education workers to walk out in solidarity with CUPE colleagues
On November 3 OPSEU/SEFPO announced that its education workers will walk off the job this Friday in a monumental show of solidarity with their CUPE colleagues who are set to stage a province-wide protest against Stephen Lecce and the Ford government’s Bill 28.
OPSEU/SEFPO represents close to 8,000 members working in boards of education as educational assistants, child and youth workers, designated early childhood educators, autism support workers, deaf blind interveners, lunch monitors, early childhood educators, clerical workers, IT specialists, Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) and ESL, among others.
They point out in a press release that “Bill 28, which is a legislative attack on workers’ constitutional right to fair and free collective bargaining, was introduced on October 31 after CUPE gave its five days’ notice for job action, with the possible start of a strike on Friday, November 4. Bill 28 preemptively prohibits these workers’ right to strike, imposes massive fines, imposes four-year long collective agreements, and invokes the notwithstanding clause to preclude any legal action against Ford’s unconstitutional and undemocratic attempt at strong-arming.
“Bill 28 isn’t just an attack on education workers’ collective bargaining rights, it is an attack on all workers’ rights. And after hearing from hundreds of our education workers and their local leaders who want to support their CUPE colleagues, our response to this unprecedented legislative overstep is clear: OPSEU/SEFPO education workers will walk out in solidarity with their CUPE colleagues this Friday.”
The following message from OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick and First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell was sent to all OPSEU/SEFPO Sector 3 education workers November 2:
Many of you have been asking us what the plan is this Friday, November 4 for OPSEU/SEFPO education workers. We have heard from so many of you, telling us you want to support and join your CUPE colleagues and walk off the job this Friday in solidarity with them.
You’ve told us that the attack on education workers by Stephen Lecce and the Ford government this week is so harmful that we have to do everything we can to fight for our rights.
We have heard you.
We will support every OPSEU/SEFPO education worker who does not attend work this Friday.
If you are not attending work, join the nearest CUPE picket rally, if you can.
Click here to find the nearest CUPE rally to you by postal code.
Your union will have your back. You will not have to pay any fines. And you will have the full force of OPSEU/SEFPO behind you should your employer attempt to enact any discipline.
We have 8,000 education workers in our union. If you all walk out together on Friday, there is safety in numbers. Talk to your colleagues. Make plans with them to attend a nearby CUPE rally together.
You didn’t ask to be on the front lines of this fight, but you are strong. And we will have your back when you go out on Friday.
Stay tuned to www.opseu.org – we will post information, including answers to your questions, in the next 24 hours.
JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer