Koskie Minsky LLP Statement in Support of Education Sector Workers
November 3, 2022
The right of workers to collectively bargain, which includes the right to strike, is the bedrock upon which Ontario’s labour relations regime has been built since the end of the Second World War. The gains unionized workers have made through the collective bargaining process over the decades has improved the working lives of unionized and non-unionized workers alike both from a health and safety and economic perspective. As a firm that has been protecting and defending the rights of unions and their members to collectively bargain for over 40 years, Koskie Minsky LLP is deeply troubled by Bill 28, the Keeping Students In Class Act, 2022.
Bill 28 is a broad and aggressive attack on the constitutional rights of workers. In addition to attacking workers’ constitutionally protected right to collectively bargain and their right to strike, the proposed legislation’s attempts to eliminate the prospect of any oversight by the courts, tribunals and administrative boards or arbitrators is also inherently undemocratic. We all benefit from the rule of law – which includes a series of known and knowable rights. When a group exercises those rights and those rights are immediately abrogated, the rule of law itself is violated.
The Province’s education sector workers entrusted with the immense responsibility of teaching our children deserve to have their rights respected. Koskie Minsky urges the Provincial Government to respect the rule of law by continuing to negotiate with CUPE in good faith to reach a collective agreement without abrogating the rights of the Province’s education sector workers through legislation.