Here are the details of the agreement between CUPE education workers and the province

CUPE education support staff and the province hammered out an 11th hour deal that narrowly avoided a strike in Ontario. Here are the details.

Tentative deal includes 1% wage increase, funding to retain 1,300 jobs

Ontario's minister of education Stephen Lecce arrives at a news conference to announce a tentative deal reached with CUPE in Toronto, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. (Cole Burston/The Canadian Press)

Tens of thousands of education workers in Ontario will see a modest wage increase, job security and an unchanged sick leave plan as part of an 11th hour deal between the union representing them and Doug Ford's government.

The agreement, reached Sunday, narrowly avoided a province-wide strike that would have closed hundreds of schools on Monday. 

"We didn't give up anything," said Laura Walton, president of the bargaining unit for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), in a news conference Sunday night. 

Here's what's in the agreement: 

1. Job security

CUPE secured $78 million each year to create and protect up to 1300 jobs, which includes: 

  • $58 million share of the Local Priorities fund, created by the previous Liberal government and put on the chopping block by the Ford government, protecting about 1,000 jobs.
  • $20 million a year to bring back jobs and service hours lost when members' contracts expired on June 30, 2019, protecting about 300 full-time equivalent jobs.

2. Salary and benefits

Workers will get a one per cent increase each year for the duration of the three-year contract.

3. Sick leave

The sick leave plan stays the same at 11 fully paid sick days and 120 short-term leave days paid at 90 per cent pay. 

Standards for sick notes will be set across the province.

4. Holidays

All CUPE workers will get Family Day off, which wasn't always the case before. Previously, some workers, like custodians, worked on the holiday. 

5. Community use funding

School boards will get $600,000 to offset the cost of workers staying to keep schools open outside of class hours for community use. 

6. Training

All staff will receive a half day of training about violence in the workplace. 

The leaders of the locals will meet Oct. 12 to endorse on the deal. If that happens, CUPE members will vote for ratification by the end of October.

Elementary and secondary school teachers are still in talks with the province. 

About the Author

Lisa Xing is a journalist by trade and a historian by degree. She's also a creative writer, photographer and traveller, dabbling in camping, canoeing and crafting. Email