As education workers in Ontario continue to strike, putting a halt to school classes across the province, they appear to have support from most Ontarians. According to a new poll, conducted by Abacus Data, 71% of people in the province want the Ford government to negotiate a fair deal with education workers rather than continue with its current approach.
The survey also found that there is widespread awareness and attention being paid to issues at hand, namely concerning wage increases. Half of those surveyed blame the provincial government for the school closures, rather than education workers. Additionally, half would support more unions walking off the job in support of educational workers.
Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards’ Council of Unions, issued a statement about the poll, which was not commissioned by the union.
This poll confirms what we already knew: that the majority of people support education workers, that they see through the Ford government’s lies about working for workers and students, that they know $39,000 isn’t enough, and that they believe workers’ rights to freely bargain and strike if necessary must always be protected.Laura Walton, educational assistant and president of CUPE’s Ontario School Boards’ Council of Unions
Walton adds that seven out of 10 Ontarians want the government to negotiate a fair deal, which would start with repealing Bill 28. The bill was enacted to prevent labour disputes involving school board employees represented by the union - essentially making it illegal for union workers to go on strike.
The poll also found that this current dispute has not made an impact on Ford’s PC party's popularity, and if an election was held now, they would easily win again.