Ontario: After the talks resumed, Premier Ford has presented a better offer to the union representing 55,000 education workers, who are back on the job after a walkout that closed schools across the province.
Ford did not disclose the new offer, but said his government’s latest proposal for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (COUPE) revised allowances for staff helping schools, who receive the lowest salary.
Ford also said that any agreement reached during the renewed negotiations will also have an impact on the four main teachers’ contracts. The increase in salaries for COUPE will also lead to a substantial increase in the salaries of teachers.
Speaking to the media at Queen’s Park on Tuesday with Education Minister Stephen Lecce, Ford said he didn’t want to fight with anyone, he just wanted to see the kids back in school. He also said that the way we are listening to the COUPE, we want the COUPE to listen to us.
According to a government source, the new offer made by the government to the COUPE for education support staff talks about a 3.5 per cent increase in allowances in the year, which is higher than the previous 2.5 per cent offer, and an increase of around two per cent a year in the salaries of employees who are already drawing high salaries.
Stephen Lecce said he hoped that the latest offer being made by the government would lead to a compromise between the two sides. Meanwhile, the union has also made it clear that they are ready to go on strike again if the talks do not go according to them. But they will have to give five days’ notice for this. With the help of a mediator, the talks between the two sides resumed on Tuesday.