TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The CAW is expressing outrage at the
Ontario government for its blatant legislative interference and
disrespect for the fundamental right to free collective bargaining in
the broader public sector.
"This intrusion by the provincial government to dictate the terms of
settlement between school boards and teacher associations or unions is
simply beyond the pale," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.
Lewenza was sharply critical of the attack on fundamental democratic
rights - comparing the Ontario government's actions to those of the
federal Harper government in its own attack on collective bargaining
rights with unprecedented interventions at Air Canada, Canada Post and
Without any actual or threatened work stoppage in the education sector,
Bill 115, "the Putting Students First Act" legislation denies education
workers and teachers the right to free collective bargaining with local
school boards on the terms of their compensation and conditions of
"We express our solidarity and support to the tens of thousands of
education workers in their determination to preserve their right to
collective bargaining, and reject the Ontario government's attempt to
create an unnecessary crisis in Ontario's education system. The right
of public sector workers and their employers to engage in so
fundamental a process as collective bargaining cannot be restricted to
only 'good' economic times."
Earlier in July this year, negotiations between CAW and long-term care
provider Extendicare ended abruptly after the Ontario government issued
a dictate that all broader public sector employers (including
for-profit firms) must ensure compensation freezes in renewal
"School board workers, much like long-term care workers, are
predominantly women and work long hours, doing strenuous work, taking
care of our children or elderly loved ones," said Lewenza. "It is
simply deplorable that the provincial government would devalue this
important caring work to such a degree."
Lewenza also praised the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) for
courageously stepping forward to warn the McGuinty government to not
pass Bill 115, and offering to be part of any potential constitutional
court challenge against the bill if it should become law, including
requesting intervener status allowing it to present its case against
the bill in court. "This is both an important issue for local democracy
as well as civil liberties - workers in both the public and private
sector must stand together in defence of these rights" said Lewenza.
The CAW represents 145,000 workers in Ontario including 26,000 public
sector workers in health, education, municipal utilities and the urban
transit sector. The CAW represents education support workers at
several school boards including Avon Maitland; Thunder Bay and Windsor
Essex Catholic District where the province recently assumed control
over the local school board.
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
contact CAW Communications Angelo DiCaro (cell) 416-606-6311 or John McClyment (cell) 416-315-3202