Roughly 100 Educational Resource Facilitators of Peel (ERFP) stewards crowded the room for a pre-bargaining meeting on Thursday, Sept. 5, at OPSEU’s Coopers Membership Centre in Mississauga.
The 4,000-member ERFP recently affiliated with OPSEU, and stand in solidarity with OPSEU’s Boards of Education members across the province.
Extremely engaged and motivated, the ERFP stewards are anticipating a tough round of upcoming bargaining. Like all other educational workers across the province, ERFP members’ collective agreement expired Aug. 31.
While the Ford government has made no secret of its desire to cut the wages and working conditions of school support workers across the province through its wage-restraining Bill 124, the ERFP stewards remain optimistic that they will be able to negotiate a fair and respectful contract through their participation in the Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW) central bargaining table.
Through OCEW, ERFP representatives participated in a conference call with Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Aug. 14, voicing their opposition to the unconstitutional Bill 124 and demanding open negotiations.
The ERFP stewards are looking forward to OCEW’s first face-to-face meeting on Sept. 13 with the Council of Trustees’ Association (CTA), which represents the Ministry of Education and school board employers.
OPSEU and ERFP educational support staff are hopeful that negotiations will proceed smoothly so they can continue to focus on what they care about most: providing the highest-quality education for all of Ontario’s students.