Ontario CUPE education workers vote 96.5 per cent in favour of strike mandate

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Ontario education workers such as librarians, custodians and school administration staff have voted 96.5 per cent in favour of a strike.
    
The Canadian Union of Public Employees says more than 80 per cent of its 55,000 education worker members voted and the vast majority supported the bargaining team's demands and giving them a strike mandate.
    
Laura Walton, the president of CUPE's Ontario School Board Council of Unions, says the bargaining team can now go back to the table with a clear indication of the level of support members have for CUPE's proposals.
    
CUPE has bargaining dates scheduled with the government on Thursday, Friday, and Oct. 17 and 18.
    
The government has offered raises of two per cent a year for workers making less than $40,000 and 1.25 per cent for all other workers, while CUPE is looking for annual increases of 11.7 per cent.
    
All five major education unions are in the midst of bargaining with the government after their contracts expired Aug. 31.