The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario is proud to stand with CUPE’s Ontario School Boards Council of Unions (OSBCU) Education Workers as they fight for an agreement that ensures decent working conditions and fair wages for education workers. We have long championed the idea that “educators’ working conditions are children’s learning conditions” and that decent work must be the backbone of our education and care settings. CUPE has attempted to put forward a contract that champions these principles of decent work and quality learning environments – including proposals that ensure an ECE in every Kindergarten classroom, adequate paid sick time, and daily paid planning time for all ECEs and EAs.
In response, the Ontario government has tabled legislation that imposes a contract on CUPE education workers and removes the fundamental right to collective bargaining we hold as Canadians. The use of the notwithstanding clause in this legislation is unprecedented and harmful to all future labour negotiations in Canada, and to our ongoing struggle for decent work. We call on the provincial government to withdraw this legislation, and return to the bargaining table to negotiate a deal in good faith.
To the over 4,500 Early Childhood Educators in OSBCU: We see you, support you and are thinking of you. If you are feeling confused, anxious or unsettled, we have space for these feelings too. The evolving situation is complex and completely new – a government has never used the notwithstanding clause in this way before.
The AECEO staff will be joining the CUPE-led actions in our local communities on Friday November 4th, and we encourage those who are able to do the same. As the AECEO, we will continue to support ECEs in all work environments in Ontario as we work together to influence positive change that benefits ECEs, children, families, and communities.
The Association of Early Childhood Educators Ontario