By using the notwithstanding clause to impose a new contract, the Ford government is stripping workers of their constitutional right to free collective bargaining.
School support workers in Ontario are among the lowest paid who work in Ontario’s education sector, often making significantly less than the poverty line, with many relying on food banks and other community supports to make ends meet.
“This is a bullying tactic, not a negotiation strategy,” said PSAC National President Chris Aylward. “The Ford Government has shown all Ontario workers that their austerity agenda trumps the fundamental Charter rights of workers. We fully support Ontario education workers fighting for a fair contract.”
Ford's Bill 124 had already severely limited education workers’ right to bargain by capping wage increases. With many earning just $39,000, these workers have only seen a $200 increase over the last three years and are now facing record high inflation rates. Now, Minister Lecce and Premier Ford are punishing these workers by using the notwithstanding clause to trample over people’s rights to pass back-to-work legislation to force a contract that wasn’t negotiated.
The Ford government cannot continue to cut public education and try to legislate away workers’ rights. This dangerous precedent is an attack on all workers and cannot go unchallenged. Take action today to repeal Bill 28 in Ontario.
When you can, we encourage you to join education workers on a picket line near you in a show of solidarity for all workers in Ontario.