By using the notwithstanding clause to pass legislation that forces workers back to work, the Ford government is undermining workers’ collective bargaining powers and their democratic right to strike.
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 tabling back-to-work legislation and imposing a contract that they didn’t negotiate.
The Ford government cannot continue to cut public education and try to legislate away workers’ rights. This dangerous precedent will not go unchallenged. Take action today to repeal Bill 124 in Ontario.