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No photocopying or sweeping as Ontario school support staff step up job action

Erin Criger | posted Tuesday, Sep 29th, 2015

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Ontario’s school support staff have begun phase two of their job after negotiations with the province failed to produce a deal.

As of Tuesday, 55,000 members of CUPE Education Workers are refusing to attend unpaid meetings and training.

That includes educational assistants, early child educators, custodians, librarians, secretaries, and IT staff.

Janitors will not clean the grounds or sweep the hallways. Educational assistants and early childhood educators were told “do not photocopy.” Instructors, meanwhile, are allowed to photocopy, but only on paid time.

Support staff have been without a contract for more than a year.

Meanwhile, members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) union have also been without a contract since last year, and are also stepping up their job action.

Teachers held their first ‘Wynne Wednesday’ last week and that job action, including not working outside the classroom, is expected to continue. Teachers won’t participate in extracurricular activities. They will, however, picket, rally, and participate in letter-writing campaigns; and wear ETFO T-shirts, buttons, and hats.

Earlier this month, education minister Liz Sandals said talks broke down after ETFO rejected an offerthat was on par with the one that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) agreed to.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has also reached an agreement, andratified their agreement with Queen’s Park.

Both OECTA and OSSTF received raises of 1.5 per cent plus another one-per-cent bonus.

The province has also reached an agreement with the Francophone teachers’ union.

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