CUPE School Board Members Elect Provincial Representatives

March 26, 2021 7:49 PM EDT

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TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Education workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) gathered virtually to attend the 2021 convention of its bargaining council, the Ontario School Board Council of Unions (OSBCU). As part of convention business, members also elected their provincial and regional representatives, who will serve on the negotiating committee when OSBCU goes into the next round of central bargaining in 2022.

Laura Walton was acclaimed OSBCU’s president. Reflecting on the challenges that were part of working through the COVID-19 pandemic, she said: “Over the past year, CUPE members have learned to pivot, work outside the box, advocate for themselves and for their students.

“Within weeks of the lockdown last year, our custodial, caretaking and maintenance staff returned to building, deep cleaning, completing long overdue preventative maintenance and securing our sites. Our information technology, audio-visual and tech members tackled the daunting task of redistributing technology to students and staff alike and developed procedures to keep themselves and others safe while doing so.

“Clerical staff moved their offices into their homes, schools continued to run with administrative tasks without missing a beat. Education assistants, designated early childhood educators, instructors, child and youth workers, library workers, and many more learned ways to connect and engage with students from afar, enabling learning to continue and supporting students.

“And they did all of this in spite of a government that has failed to provide a real and sustainable plan to keep us all safe while undermining the real key services we provide.”

The other elected representatives that will meet the Crown and the Council of Trustees’ Association in central bargaining in 2022 are Rod McGee, First Vice-President; Tammy Graham, Secretary-Treasurer; Christine Couture, Francophone Vice-President; along with area vice-presidents Dave Geroux, Area 1; Keith Levere, Area 2; Todd Canning, Area 3; David McOuat, Area 4; Liz James, Area 5; Mike Galipeau, Area 6; and Devin Klassen, Area 7.

Said Walton: “This group is determined to build a strong bargaining council and is committed to rank-and-file activism. We are already looking ahead to 2022 and securing the services that CUPE education workers provide.”

OSBCU bargains centrally on behalf of 55,000 CUPE education workers across the province.

Laura Walton, OSBCU President, 613-813-9786
Mary Unan, CUPE Communications, 647-390-9839

Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees

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