ETFO Renfrew Teachers, Occasional Teachers, ESP and PSP Locals Working-to-Rule as of Dec. 3rd

TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Renfrew's ETFO Teacher Local, Occasional Teacher Local, Education Support Personnel (ESP) and Professional Support Personnel (PSP) locals have received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Renfrew District School Board.  As a result, the locals have begun work-to-rule as of December 3, 2012.

Local bargaining stalled following the passage in September of Bill 115, which has imposed drastic cuts to ETFO members' collective agreements and attacks their democratic rights.

"Members in Renfrew locals voted for strike action earlier this fall if local collective bargaining could not achieve a fair deal," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. "Bill 115's limiting parameters have left absolutely no room to make progress."

"The minister of education told the public for months that Bill 115 would bring labour peace but it has had the opposite effect," said Allison Ryan, President of ETFO Renfrew Teacher Local. "Bill 115 has stripped my members of their democratic right to collectively bargain."

"If job action is the only way to expedite the process, then that's what our members are prepared to do," added David Cresswell, President of the Renfrew Occasional Teacher Local.

"We are disappointed that the government has handled this process so poorly right from the start," said ESP Local President Colleen Mackin.  Renfrew PSP Local President Joan Bradley added that "our members recognize that this is the time to take a firm stand to defend their democratic rights."

During a vote on September 20, 2012, all Renfrew locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The Ontario Labour Relations Act requires that a strike mandate and a no board report must be received, and 16 days must pass following the receipt of the no board report, before legal strike action can occur. 

Fast Facts:
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is the professional and protective organization representing over 76,000 teachers, occasional teachers, and education professionals employed in the public elementary schools of Ontario. 

ETFO Renfrew Teachers' Local represents 364 elementary teachers employed by Renfrew District School Board and the Occasional Teacher Local represents 142 Occasional Teachers. The ESP local represents 130 members, and the PSP local represents 23 members. 

Collective agreements for all ETFO locals expired on August 31, 2012.  Since then, ETFO members have been working without collective agreements in place.   

SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations - Cell: 416-948-0195, vdugale@etfo.org