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OPSEU and ERFP education members voted on ratification

Toronto – The more than 6,000 members of OPSEU’s Boards of Education Division and affiliate union ERFP have completed voting on whether to ratify a new collective agreement and the results will be released next week.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the ratification vote held April 27-29 was conducted electronically. OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is pleased the vote went off with few technical difficulties.

“I’m glad our members stepped up and voted for this tentative deal and embraced the technology we used,” said Thomas. “Democracy is the cornerstone of our union so member participation in votes like this is so important.”

The tentative deal was reached earlier this month between the Ontario Council of Educational Workers (OCEW), of which OPSEU and ERFP are members, and the Council of Trustees’ Associations and the Ontario government.

The three-year pact, retroactive to September 1, 2019, was reached after many months of bargaining. The COVID emergency made the talks even more challenging, but a new deal was signed on April 4.

While OPSEU and ERFP members have now had their say, the five other member unions of OCEW have yet to vote. They include COPE Ontario, Essex and Kent Counties Skilled Trades Council, Labourers’ International Union of North America, Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, and Unifor.  All affiliate union members to the OCEW will conduct a ratification vote on Monday May 4.

The overall OCEW result will be announced after the meeting.

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931