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Oct 5, 2019

Well that escalated in a hurry.

CUPE represents some 55 thousand education workers across the province and has been in contract negotiations with the province over the past few weeks. It appeared they were close to a deal on Sunday, September 29th, but the union walked away from the negotiations saying they would commence a work to rule on September 30. Two days later, union leadership announced plans for a full scale strike unless there is a deal by 12:01 AM on Monday, October 6th.

That sent heads spinning at Queen's Park and parent's scrambling because a number of local school boards have decided to close their schools in the name of student safety.

It's the first salvo in the public service labour negotiations for the Ford government and it happens while the legislature is in recess. And all of this happens against the back drop of a federal election campaign where team Scheer is trying to keep Premier Ford out of the view and ear shot of the media.

Strike or not, this showdown will set the tone for other contract talks including the teachers' unions.