The Non-Academic Staff Association (NASA) stands in solidarity with the 55,000 education support workers in Ontario as they stand up to the Ontario government’s egregious attack on their collective rights.
At a time of soaring cost-of-living and high inflation, these critical education workers—most of them women—employed as educational assistants, early childhood educators, school librarians and janitorial staff earn less than $40,000 a year. Instead of bargaining in good faith and respecting their right to take collective action to better their working conditions, the Ford government has taken the unprecedented step of invoking the Charter’s Notwithstanding Clause to force a contract on these workers and pass legislation prohibiting job action.
Again and again, courts have ruled that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the right to belong to a union, to free collective bargaining, and the right to strike. No government has the right to strip away these fundamental rights of Canadians.
NASA recognizes that this is just the latest in a long line of attacks on the rights of working people across Canada. If the government of Ontario is allowed to get away with this appalling escalation, other governments will no doubt follow, and workers across Canada will lose the improvements in their working conditions made over generations of collective action.
NASA supports these workers and their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), as they take action today to defend the hard-won rights that belong to us all.