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Ratification votes begins for Ontario CUPE education worker members

TORONTO — More than 50,000 education workers in Ontario began voting Thursday on whether they want to accept a tentative deal their union struck with the provincial government over the weekend.
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Laura Walton, the president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions, speaks to the media in Toronto on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. More than 50,000 education workers in Ontario will start voting today on whether they want to accept a tentative deal their union struck with the government over the weekend.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — More than 50,000 education workers in Ontario began voting Thursday on whether they want to accept a tentative deal their union struck with the provincial government over the weekend.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees has said the four-year contract comes with a $1-per-hour raise each year, or about 3.59 per cent annually, for the average worker.

But Laura Walton, president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions, has said she doesn't like the deal because it doesn't come with new staffing level guarantees.

Ratification votes are set to continue through to Dec. 5. CUPE has said results of the vote will be released the following day, Dec. 6.

If CUPE's members vote to reject the deal, the parties could go back to the table and CUPE could give another strike notice.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says he wants to thank education workers for getting a deal done.

"I'm just grateful we came together in the interests of our kids and put them first," Lecce said Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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