Ontario School Board Council of Unions – Newsletter

 At the end of another tumultuous week, I’d like to share a few words about some of the things I’ve learned along the way: 

As education workers, we are quite lucky. We hear regularly about major layoffs in other sectors of CUPE and in other unions. Already more than 500,000 Canadians have applied for employment insurance. To read more click on the link below.

OSBCU Bulletin Update  

COVID-19: Protecting the Health and Safety of Education Workers

Please see attached a Health & Safety Question and Answer sheet that was prepared for Ontario School Board Council of Unions members by Paul Sylvestre, National Health and Safety Rep. As well we have included a screening checklist.  It is highly recommended that the screening checklist be used should anyone be coming into your workplace during this pandemic.

Protection of Education Workers COVID-19

Screening Checklist

Strike Vote Results

Today CUPE and OSBCU tallied the final results of the strike votes that were taken across 109 bargaining in 68 locals. 

CUPE education workers voted by a 93 percent majority for job action that is part of the fight to protect services for students in Ontario schools. The results of the votes confirm that we will be in a legal strike position as of September 30. 

CUPE members also turned out in record numbers to deliver this stinging rebuke to the Ford government: we will not accept cuts that hurt the services we deliver to Ontario students. 

Read more about the strike vote

Open Letter to Parents from the OSBCU President

If your child goes to school in Ontario, chances are that CUPE education workers help keep your child’s school clean, safe, supportive and welcoming. There are 55,000 of us and our work is one of the cornerstones of public education. Kids can’t learn and teachers can’t teach if we’re not in schools. 

We love our work and we’re proud of the benefits it brings to students, families and communities. 

We’re also preparing to take job action in September.

Open letter to parents

OSBCU Bargaining Information … Notice to Bargaining Given

On April 2, the government filed Regulation 59-19, setting April 29 as the date on or after which the parties for school board bargaining could give early notice to bargain. 

At the OSBCU bargaining conference in November and again at the OSBCU convention in January, we talked with members about the best time to file notice to bargain. In April, OSBCU’s bargaining committee again deliberated the same topic with CUPE National staff. After taking all these discussions into consideration, OSBCU filed notice to bargain on May 3. 

By now, all local presidents will have received a copy of the notice to bargain. Notice to bargain centrally also serves as notice to bargain locally, therefore, Directors of Education in school boards with CUPE members will have also received a copy of the notice. 

Click here to read more

Ford government’s cuts to GSN funding signal drastic drop in services for students and job losses for education workers

TORONTO, ON – The union that represents 55,000 education workers in Ontario schools is calling today’s release of the 2019-20 Grants for Student Needs (GSNs) by the Ministry of Education “an attack on students, on public education and on the people who provide services to students.” It also projects a minimum loss of 2500 positions that provide in-class support to students.

Click here to read more

Power of Purple joins Education Worker Wednesdays

Message from the President of the OSBCU

In response to our members requests and recognizing the need for an Education Worker specific day of recognition, the OSBCU is please to announce that we are joining forces with several locals and are promoting Education Worker Wednesdays.

We encourage locals to promote the Power of Purple each and every Wednesday.  Many locals have been creating their own shirts in recognition of The Power of Purple. The OSBCU has also designed OSBCU Power of Purple T Shirts that will be available online at our OSBCU Swag Store that will go live on Friday.

We will be following up with additional actions that members can take to highlight Education Workers and the Power of Public Education!


In Solidarity,

Laura Walton


Ontario School Board Council of Unions

Report of CUPE’s Task Force on Governance


Sisters, Brothers and Friends

The Task Force on Governance, created by our National Convention in 2017, has completed its work and reported with recommendations to the National Executive Board.

At its March meeting, the Board agreed to share the Task Force report with all chartered bodies in CUPE.

As you prepare for our 29th biennial convention, being held in Montreal this October, I encourage you to review the enclosed report and consider submitting constitutional amendments that address the questions contemplated by the Task Force.

It was an honour to chair this Task Force, and I want to thank the 15 leaders from across CUPE who worked with me on this important project. I also want to thank the hundreds of CUPE members who participated in our consultation process.

In solidarity,

National President

OSBCU Cinema Ad Campaign

Coming soon… to a screen near you!

There’s an ‘Easter egg’ in store this weekend for movie-going OSBCU-CUPE members: one of the pre-show ads screening in cinemas will be the animated video, “School Day – Ontario,” highlighting the work of CUPE education workers and how we support the school community.

Here’s a sneak peak

The video was first created in 2018 as part of CUPE BC K-12’s bargaining support campaign. OSBCU adapted the original to run in English and French and the videos will run as ads in 105 Cineplex, Magic Lantern, Landmark, and Cinestarz theatres across Ontario.

The ads will run for two 2-week periods in cinemas to coincide with the release of two blockbuster movies: Avengers: Endgame (from April 26) and Toy Story 4 (from June 21). A 15-second version of the video will also run as an ad on social media.

We encourage OSBCU-affiliated locals to promote the video to their members, on their own websites and on social media. And remember to give OSBCU, CUPE, and yourselves a big cheer when you see our work on the big screen!