COPE Ontario Stands with Education Workers and All Workers in Ontario

Premier Ford and his Conservative party’s Bill 28 is an abhorrent piece of legislation that seeks to impose a contract with cuts to wages, strips workers of the right to protest and suppresses their voices, and saddles workers who dare to defy such ruthless and brutal legislation by the Premier and his party with a hefty fine. This legislation also pre-emptively overrides the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Human Rights Code which leaves workers with no right to challenge the legislation at the Labour Board or in court.

Bill 28 is historic and precedent-setting in all the wrong ways. It seeks to attack and undermine workers and the very democratic principles and ideologies that make a civil, democratic society civil. By invoking the notwithstanding clause, Ford and the Conservative Party are seeking to trample on some of our most fundamental rights while limiting the ability of those he and his government are stomping all over to challenge him and the legislation.

As of Friday, November 4, education workers who are members of CUPE-OSBCU will be in a legal strike position. Regardless of if the Bill passes or not, these brave workers will be off the job and fighting for themselves and for all our collective human rights. We must support and stand with them.

There are many ways you can support these workers who are bravely taking a stand.

  • To find your closest picket line, please use CUPE’s Picket Line Finder here: https://cupe.on.ca/dontbeabully/. You can also send an email to Ford using the email form provided on the page. For those who live closest to an NDP MPP office, please consider travelling to your nearest PC MPP’s office to picket. The NDP is standing in solidarity with education workers, and we thank them for their solidarity.
  • Email your MPP and let them know you’re opposed to this draconian legislation and that you stand with education workers using the OFL’s handy email your MPP tool found here: https://ofl.ca/action/email-hands-off/
  • Keep an eye on https://cupe.on.ca/dontbeabully/ and CUPE’s social media channels for the latest directly from CUPE:
  • For our members working in education, keep in touch with your Local and their communications for your protocol on how to navigate this all.
  • Stay vigilant and ready to act – in the coming days, there’ll be further actions called. Hear the calls to action and rise to stand with your fellow workers.

COPE Ontario stands in solidarity with education workers and all workers who are under an unprecedented attack that seeks to undermine our collective Labour and human rights. We must stand together and fight back. If history has taught us anything, the old adage remains true – the workers united will never be defeated.

 

 

 

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LABOUR RELATIONS SPECIALIST - JOB POSTING

The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Ontario (COPE Ontario) is seeking a full-time Labour Relations Specialist. COPE Ontario is a grassroots union with multiple workplaces across the province and is seeking to hire a Labour Relations Specialist. The Labour Relations Specialist works with their assigned Locals’ main contact for servicing at the members’ workplaces. Applicants should have demonstrated experience in, and an extensive knowledge of unions and labour relations to assist and expand the union’s capacity through bargaining strong collective agreements and representing members in workplaces.

REQUIREMENTS:

The selected candidate must be able to perform the following duties and other related duties:

  1. Membership Service: The Labour Relations Specialist is a resource person and advisor for members with work-related problems. In this regard, the Labour Relations Specialist shall a) provide assistance and accurate advice with grievances and discipline; b) advise members as to their rights and obligations under relevant legislation and regulations, their Collective Agreement, COPE Ontario constitution and the Local’s By-laws.
  2. Grievances, representation, arbitrations, and other legal matters: The Labour Relations Specialist advises and represents members; investigates, prepares, presents, and represents members in grievances with the assistance of Stewards and Executive officers; and assists with arbitrations, Labour Relations Board (or equivalent) proceedings and makes determinations on the merit and filing of grievances or resolving workplace/policy issues in alternative formats.
  3. Contract Negotiations: The Labour Relations Specialist, in conjunction with the local union, is the Chief spokesperson for sub-local bargaining teams, and is the lead for all tasks associated with contract negotiations, including research, drafting of contract proposals, bargaining, organizing around the bargaining process, conciliation, mediation, and preparation for job action.
  4. Resource to the Local’s Executive: The Labour Relations Specialist is a resource person and advisor to the local Executive and assists it in the carrying out of its duties. The Labour Relations Specialist shall provide support and mentorship of local executives and stewards. The Labour Relations Specialist will, unless otherwise advised, attend monthly Executive meetings, and shall report to the meeting, as deemed appropriate by the Executive. When requested, the Labour Relations Specialist shall attend membership and sub-local membership meetings, and Local committee meetings. Help organize general membership meetings, steward meetings, joint labour- management meetings, and arrange on-site location unit visits.
  5. External Liaison: The Labour Relations Specialist, in conjunction with the local union, is a liaison between the Local and the Local's Employers and other affiliated groups, including unions, political organizations, associations, students’ unions, etc.
  6. Administration and Training: The Labour Relations Specialist will aid the Local President and other officers to ensure the efficient operation of the Local’s Office in all administrative matters. Conduct workshops, presentations, and training as required.
  7. It is understood that the emphasis placed on the tasks in this job description may vary from time to time based on the needs of the locals. The setting of priorities shall be done in consultation with COPE Ontario’s Director.
  8. This job requires the employee to travel to different parts of the province and to work evenings and the occasional weekend as required. The workspace is flexible and the office space available is sometimes shared.

International Womens Day 2024

Celebrating International Women's Day!

Today, we honor the strength, resilience, and determination of women in the labour movement and beyond. On this International Women's Day, COPE Ontario proudly stands in solidarity with women workers everywhere, advocating for fair wages, safe working conditions, and gender equality in the workplace. 

Ontario Court of Appeals confirms Bill 124 is unconstitutional

Ontario Court of Appeals confirms Bill 124 is unconstitutional.

On 12 February 2024, the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a decision that the wage-restraint legislation known as Bill 124 was unconstitutional. In a majority decision, the court affirmed a 2022 ruling which found that Bill 124 interfered with the freedom of association guarantee under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Ontario Court of Appeal also found that, as a result of Bill 124, “organized public sector workers, many of whom are women, racialized and/or low-income earners, have lost the ability to negotiate for better compensation or even better work conditions that do not have a monetary value.”

MENTORSHIP PROGRAM 2024-2026 GUIDELINE AND STEPS

This program is designed to enable skill development for COPE Ontario members that will prove useful in the various sectors that COPE Ontario represents. Participants will gain knowledge and experience to ensure they grow and learn how best to strengthen our union while serving its members. Successful applicants chosen for the Mentorship Program will be trained in various positions including but not limited to becoming: a Labour Relations Specialist to cover all sectors, or a specialist in Healthcare or Education; Benefits Representative; or Organizer. Opportunities will also be available to become Instructors/Facilitators specializing in a variety of topics and areas of labour priorities. Locals of COPE Ontario will be responsible for ensuring all necessary arrangements are made for their member’s lost time. It is expected that the cost of lost time will be shared by all three parties: the Local Union, COPE Ontario, and the participating member.

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