Parents to be given 72 hours' notice of ETFO strikes in December

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will give parents 72 hours' notice of strikes planned for December in school boards by public elementary teachers and education professionals.

"It is unfortunate that we have been placed in the position of having to strike by Education Minister Laurel Broten, but we will provide parents with ample notice to ensure the safety of students," said ETFO President Sam Hammond today. "By her actions, the minister has let everyone down by stripping teachers and education professionals of their democratic rights, and shutting down recent talks at the provincial level."

While elementary teachers and education professionals in four school boards are already proceeding with work-to-rule strike action, teachers in all other boards will also be in a strike position during December. The strikes by ETFO locals will affect operations in each public elementary school throughout the province.

Bill 115 strips teachers of their fundamental right to negotiate, and gives the minister unprecedented power to impose an agreement if locals and their boards don't reach a collective agreement by December 31st. The bill puts the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the courts.

On November 11th, the government invited ETFO to discussions with Ministry officials and a third party facilitator. ETFO and government representatives were engaged in productive talks when the Minister abruptly shut the session down.

"We continue to be ready to resume discussions in an attempt to reach an agreement that meets the needs of all parties", added Hammond. "It's time the minister got serious about reaching deals that respect the rights of our members."

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations - Cell: 416-948-0195