Government uses flawed legislation to trample rights of working Ontarians

Can't remove stain of Bill 115 by repealing it after use

TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2013 /CNW/ - Today's use of Bill 115's unprecedented powers by the Ontario government, and the promise of a subsequent repeal of the Bill, is a cynical misuse of government power, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"The government has used a hammer to dictate terms of a contract; a hammer that was put in place as early as last February," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "Ten years of goodwill has been squandered in ten months by this education minister."

"By saying that she will repeal Bill 115 after using it to trample our rights, the education minister has admitted that the legislation is deeply flawed. Minister Broten will not erase the stain of Bill 115 simply by removing it after it is used. Ontarians will realize that democracy is not being well served by these actions."

"This impasse was never about pay increases; it is about the democratic right of people in this province to collectively bargain," added Hammond "The agreements imposed by the minister under Bill 115 are by no means collective agreements. There was never any attempt by the minister to hold fair and respectful negotiations."

"This is an extremely cynical use of power that makes little sense. We do not believe that the government should be dictating terms and conditions of employment, when the lawful means of bargaining is between school boards and locals in the education sector."

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