ETFO to take no new strike action if education minister does not impose Bill 115 provisions

TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2012 /CNW/ - The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will cease rotating strikes, and take no new strike action, if Ontario's education minister does not impose collective agreements after December 31st under Bill 115. The offer extends until a new premier is put in place at the Liberal Party convention in late January.

"The appointment of a new premier will provide an opportunity to take a fresh look at the current collective bargaining impasse and find respectful solutions," said ETFO President Sam Hammond at a media conference today.

"Our proposal respects existing collective bargaining processes and the fundamental rights of our members and all working Ontarians. If the minister decides to take precipitous action and trigger further disruption, this will aggravate the situation for parents, students, and our members."

"Education Minister Laurel Broten and her government must recognize that Bill 115 is a dangerous piece of legislation. It threatens the very foundations of Ontario's democratic values and institutions. It is wrong, and the education sector has called the government to task for it with our job actions this fall."

Bill 115 gives the education minister unprecedented powers to impose collective agreements on school boards and locals after December 31, 2012 and prohibit legal strike action. However, there is nothing in the bill that requires her to exercise those powers.

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, 416-948-0195
Lisa Mastrobuono, ETFO Collective Bargaining Communications, 416-200-3674