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Ontario CUPE union threatens insurrection


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It'll be interesting to see how that one plays out.  The notwithstanding clause has legal experts almost unanimously challenging its constitutional merit. 

Try to designate them essential workers.  If that is successfully challenged, then too bad, you lose.  Deal with the strike.  The electorate is going to have little patience for it and I imagine Ford could come to a workable/favorable settlement with them. 

The bigger issue (I think) is that giving the support workers what they want is probably fair and deserved, but the Teacher's Union would use it as a comparable for future job action and (IMO) they're already very, very generously compensated.  

Regardless, trying to circumvent the Law with hamfisted legislation looks bad.  

Edited by Moonbox
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2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

If he did, Doug Ford could just use his NOTWITHSTANDING clause to ignore it.

I highly doubt anyone is going to be much upset by this other than those who wouldn't dream of voting for Ford anyway. Let the chattering classes chatter if they so desire but keep the kids in school.

Edited by I am Groot
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3 minutes ago, I am Groot said:

I highly doubt anyone is going to be much upset by this other than those who wouldn't dream of voting for Ford anyway. Let the chattering classes chatter if they so desire but keep the kids in school.

Cynical but also likely true.  The lack of engagement by the 'general' public who are focussed on fighting for their dinner on a day-to-day basis wasn't supposed to be the dream of where society would be in 2022 either.

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1 minute ago, Michael Hardner said:

Cynical but also likely true.  The lack of engagement by the 'general' public who are focussed on fighting for their dinner on a day-to-day basis wasn't supposed to be the dream of where society would be in 2022 either.

I don't think that's as cynical as going on strike early in the first full school year since 2018-2019 and as we head for recession.  

If people knew what most of the support workers actually made, they'd probably be sympathetic under different circumstances.  Striking right now is incredibly tone-deaf and is only going to align the public against them.  It seems self-defeating to me.  ?‍♂️

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Just now, Moonbox said:

1. I don't think that's as cynical as going on strike early in the first full school year since 2018-2019 and as we head for recession.  

2. If people knew what most of the support workers actually made, they'd probably be sympathetic under different circumstances. 

3. Striking right now is incredibly tone-deaf and is only going to align the public against them.  It seems self-defeating to me.  ?‍♂️

1. Well they don't pick the timing, the contract is expiring now so... 
2. Well ... they make about $39K on average.  Is that what you mean ?
3. Striking right now - as in sky-high inflation, making low wages, and offered 1% ?  They should wait a few years ?

I just did a little math and, compounded, this would be 5.9% real loss year-over-year, compounded to a 25% pay cut over four years.  I guess striking right now is their only option.

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4 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Well they don't pick the timing, the contract is expiring now so... 

They certainly picked the timing of the strike.  The contract expiring doesn't mean they stop getting paid or their jobs just end (like what happened to a huge portion of working class during COVID).  

4 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. Well ... they make about $39K on average.  Is that what you mean ?

Yes.  That's not a lot, and paying them a bit more isn't outlandish.  They are not exactly high-skill and short-supply professions with a lot of bargaining power, however.  

4 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

3. Striking right now - as in sky-high inflation, making low wages, and offered 1% ?  They should wait a few years ?

If they want any public support, yes.  I don't know about a few years, but I'd argue 8-12 months would be wise.  You're a lot better off asking for a raise when everyone isn't an unhappy combination of exhausted and anxious about what they've already gone through and what's likely coming.  If these workers are squeezed to the brink with their current income, then they're not in much of a position to endure a long strike. 

The Ontario government and the Teacher's Union have played a very zero-sum bargaining game for the last 40 years.  I'd argue that CUPE is just caught in the middle, and that the current negotiating/posturing is very much meant to be a signal for the Teachers Union (whose CBA IIRC has also expired or is expiring soon).  The message: You'll get little/nothing.   

4 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

I just did a little math and, compounded, this would be 5.9% real loss year-over-year, compounded to a 25% pay cut over four years.  I guess striking right now is their only option.

You'd have to explain that math to me.  The overall effect of inflation since 2019 hasn't been anywhere close to 25% thus far, even counting for today's high rates.  I'm guessing that's somehow forward-projected.  

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54 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Well they don't pick the timing, the contract is expiring now so... 
2. Well ... they make about $39K on average.  Is that what you mean ?
3. Striking right now - as in sky-high inflation, making low wages, and offered 1% ?  They should wait a few years ?

I just did a little math and, compounded, this would be 5.9% real loss year-over-year, compounded to a 25% pay cut over four years.  I guess striking right now is their only option.

Unfortunately, inflation hits everyone. If everyone demanded inflation equal raises, then inflation would just continue and even get worse.

I went through huge inflationary years and did not get inflationary raises. Had to make do.

Yes, it is difficult to live in large centres abut, it is easier in smaller centres. Do you give those in Toronto higher wages than those in Thunder Bay?

The workers in question are in several job titles. These jobs have different wage categories. Saying $39K is bit misleading and is starting level of those jobs. Admin people make one wage, EA's in another cleaners and janitors in another.

I think the government is offering 2.5 for the lower levels and 1.5 for higher levels.

Who is the bad guy here? The government that has only XX money to spread around? Or CUPE demand for 11.7 % annual raise for 4 years, five additional paid days before the start of the school year, 30 minutes of paid daily prep time, an increase in overtime pay, and a $100 million investment in new job creation?  Remember that is for only 194 work days a year.  More unions will be coming at them. soon This union is holding kids as ammunition and are saying it is all for the kids yet, will close schools to get the money they want. Deja vu all over again...

Edited by ExFlyer
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16 minutes ago, ExFlyer said:

Unfortunately, inflation hits everyone. If everyone demanded inflation equal raises, then inflation would just continue and even get worse.

In the private sector, presumably you can go and find a higher-paying job in an inflationary environment.  Some people have, but these are weird times overall.  There's a lot of nuance to these arguments.  

16 minutes ago, ExFlyer said:

Yes, it is difficult to live in large centres abut, it is easier in smaller centres. Do you give those in Toronto higher wages than those in Thunder Bay?

Typically yes, across all industries and sectors.  

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27 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

1. They certainly picked the timing of the strike.   

2.  They are not exactly high-skill and short-supply professions with a lot of bargaining power, however.  

3. The Ontario government and the Teacher's Union have played a very zero-sum bargaining game for the last 40 years.  I'd argue that CUPE is just caught in the middle, and that the current negotiating/posturing is very much meant to be a signal for the Teachers Union (whose CBA IIRC has also expired or is expiring soon).  The message: You'll get little/nothing.   

4. You'd have to explain that math to me.  

1. I disagree... the contract expires when it does.  Covid, or anything else is coincidence.
2. You're wrong on both of those counts.  Our schools and daycares have shut down because of lack of staff and if you don't think a city full of parents who have to keep their kids home isn't bargaining power then you have a high bar there.
3. It's a bad strategy to bring a huge fight and then ANOTHER one months apart.  
4. Inflation is 5.9% above what the govt. is offering.  (1.059 ** 4) ~ 1.25

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7 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. I disagree... the contract expires when it does.  Covid, or anything else is coincidence.

Nobody is disagreeing about when the contract expires, but I could give you a list of examples of work continuing after an expired CBA with negotiations happening over longer periods of time in the background. COVID was obviously not part of the plan, but it is the reality we're living with today and CUPE ignores that at its members' peril.    

7 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. You're wrong on both of those counts.  Our schools and daycares have shut down because of lack of staff and if you don't think a city full of parents who have to keep their kids home isn't bargaining power then you have a high bar there.

The daycare situation is a separate issue and based more on precarious employment through COVID than anything, though some similar issues occurred in schools.  Parents aren't going to have a lot of patience with job action going into a recession after just coming out of COVID lockdowns, and would be more than happy to see it just go away with back-to-work legislation.  

7 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

3. It's a bad strategy to bring a huge fight and then ANOTHER one months apart.  

That ignores how public-sector bargaining works, with the negotiations with one union being used as a benchmark for the next.  

7 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

4. Inflation is 5.9% above what the govt. is offering.  (1.059 ** 4) ~ 1.25

You can't use 2022 inflation numbers because they're temporary and extraordinary.  The overall point isn't completely unreasonable, but the reality is that most of the private sector isn't getting 11.7% raises or anywhere close to that.  September's 2022 numbers were 3.8% despite high inflation, and those numbers will probably be much lower next year.  2022's post COVID inflation spike is hurting everyone, and the attitude that public sector workers should somehow be immune to it is tiresome, especially considering the lifestyle of a ~200 day work year.  ?‍♂️

 

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7 minutes ago, Moonbox said:

1.  COVID was obviously not part of the plan, but it is the reality we're living with today and CUPE ignores that at its members' peril.    

2. Parents aren't going to have a lot of patience with job action going into a recession after just coming out of COVID lockdowns, and would be more than happy to see it just go away with back-to-work legislation.  

3. You can't use 2022 inflation numbers because they're temporary and extraordinary. 

4. The overall point isn't completely unreasonable, but the reality is that most of the private sector isn't getting 11.7% raises or anywhere close to that. 

5. Especially considering the lifestyle of a ~200 day work year.  ?‍♂️

 

1. Well maybe the province wasn't going to let them bide their time too ?  Otherwise, ok then.
2. Maybe, or maybe they will see this as an extension of the school, healthcare mess that DoFo has brought.
3. Fair enough.  COLA clause then ;)
4. They were never going to get the 11.7%
5. They don't get paid in the summer.

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12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Well maybe the province wasn't going to let them bide their time too ?  Otherwise, ok then.

 There's essentially zero chance that Ford was going to lock out the public school support workers.  

12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. Maybe, or maybe they will see this as an extension of the school, healthcare mess that DoFo has brought.

Pointing to Doug Ford for the healthcare mess is a lot like pointing at Trudeau for inflation.  This is not an isolated or provincial problem.  Healthcare cost increases are unsustainable and this is a global systemic problem combining with very nasty demographic trends being further stressed by COVID in most of the western world.  I have a lot of sympathy for Canada's health care workers (particularly the nurses), who work under extremely difficult conditions, all year, through terrible hours in sometimes dangerous situations.  This sympathy does not extend to Ontario teachers, who remain nearly the best paid in the world despite close to 10 years of essentially frozen wages and generally work less than 200 days a year.   

12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

4. They were never going to get the 11.7%

Agreed, but both sides are being unreasonable and neither are respecting the other.  This is not how bargaining should be done, but it is how our public sector unions have been handling it in Ontario for as long as I've been alive.  The only time we haven't had public sector unrest, from what I can see, was when the Davies and McGuinty governments were shelling out huge increases.  I was too young to understand at the time, but freaking Bob Rae and Ontario's NDP were the ones who finally started reigning in the wild expansion of this spending, and the Teacher's Union has never forgiven them for it.  

12 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

5. They don't get paid in the summer.

Completely irrelevant.  They get paid their annual and that's the only number that matters.  

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I don't think CUPE has much leverage here

the Liberals & NDP discredited themselves with their Woke Green agenda

rendering the Ford government into power without any serious opposition

furthermore, the taxpayer is not a profiteer, striking against the taxpayer is not the same as private sector

none the less, invoking Section 33 to avoid a strike is classically Canadian government overreach

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On 11/2/2022 at 1:15 PM, Moonbox said:

I don't think that's as cynical as going on strike early in the first full school year since 2018-2019 and as we head for recession.  

If people knew what most of the support workers actually made, they'd probably be sympathetic under different circumstances.  Striking right now is incredibly tone-deaf and is only going to align the public against them.  It seems self-defeating to me.  ?‍♂️

I guess the union (and members) forgot who paid them for sitting at home during those 2 years?

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On 11/2/2022 at 3:38 PM, Michael Hardner said:

1. Well maybe the province wasn't going to let them bide their time too ?  Otherwise, ok then.
2. Maybe, or maybe they will see this as an extension of the school, healthcare mess that DoFo has brought.
3. Fair enough.  COLA clause then ;)
4. They were never going to get the 11.7%
5. They don't get paid in the summer.

Like teachers, they get an annual salary. They divide it into segments that suit them. They do no get "laid off" during the summer without pay.

They did get paid during the 2 year school COVID closures. Teachers taught online but the others had nothing to do so, sat at home. I have several neighbours that work in schools in CUPE union. They had a great 2 years.

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11 hours ago, ExFlyer said:

1. Like teachers, they get an annual salary. They divide it into segments that suit them. They do no get "laid off" during the summer without pay.

2. They did get paid during the 2 year school COVID closures. Teachers taught online but the others had nothing to do so, sat at home.

3. I have several neighbours that work in schools in CUPE union. They had a great 2 years.

1. Then why do they get EI?

2. That's correct.

3. Yes, I was alive during Covid too.  Are you thinking that they should take a pay cut because of this?

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2 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Then why do they get EI?

2. That's correct.

3. Yes, I was alive during Covid too.  Are you thinking that they should take a pay cut because of this?

I know of no admin. clerical, custodial or other non teachers getting EI in the summer. It is not a part time job.

Well, they could have been laid of, without pay yet the government kept them on and aid them full time, for 2 years.  They have been offered 2.5% per year, more sick days, pension increase and other benefits, no pay cut.

And I will not play "inflation is high" game. It is high for everyone in the country no matter where they live. Should every employer give every worker 11% per year raise? Michael, you are better than that.

Edited by ExFlyer
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