CUPE, other union members continue protest against Reopening Ontario Act

FERGUS – Members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and other labour unions held a protest on Sept. 17 outside the office of Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott.

The group was protesting against Bill 195, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

The act essentially extends, for up to two years, the terms of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that came into effect on March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jennifer Hesch, president of the Guelph and District Labour Council and Vice President of the Upper Grand Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, said the act “can override collective agreements.

“They can reassign health care workers and change their hours without regard to the collective agreement. We want the bill repealed,” she said.

“It affects healthcare workers the most, but it could affect other workers too.”