Ontario government, education union begin contract negotiations

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Bargaining talks have begun between the government of Ontario and a major education union.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents 55,000 Ontario education workers, says negotiations began as scheduled on Monday morning.

Education unions will be negotiating this summer as existing contracts are set to expire on Aug. 31.

The central bargaining committee for CUPE's Ontario School Boards Council of Unions said this month that it hoped to negotiate a deal that offers more supports for students and ``makes sure workers' pay is no longer eroded.''

A July 7 statement also referenced a memo from the assistant deputy minister of education that said the province is ``contemplating'' four-year terms for education sector collective agreements, instead of the existing three-year terms.

The memo said the four-year term would allow more stability as students catch up after COVID-19 disruptions and asked for input from bargaining agencies on the options of contracts lasting two, four or five years.