ETFO members will comply with OLRB ruling re one-day political protest

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Members of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will comply with a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) and not hold a planned one-day political protest today.

"We respect the OLRB's decision and will comply fully with the ruling," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "We did not believe this to be an illegal strike based on past political protests directed at the government. We respect the provisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Act - something we have requested the minister and the government to do for almost a year."

"We have said all along that this government cannot be allowed to override the fundamental rights of working Ontarians. In this instance, the OLRB has provided direction and we will abide by that. However, we still have a situation where the terms and conditions of our members' employment have been dictated through a disgraceful misuse of government power. It cannot be business as usual in the education sector."

Ninety-two percent (92%) of members who cast a ballot in December voted in favour of a one-day political protest should the minister impose contracts using Bill 115. She did so on January 3rd.

"This whole situation could have been avoided if the minister of education had accepted our olive branch in December to wait for a new leader to try and find solutions," added Hammond. "While the current premier refers to other agreements put into place, none of those sectors had their democratic rights trampled through the use of draconian legislation like Bill 115."

"Once again, we are calling on whoever is elected premier to meet with us and have respectful discussions to restore positive relations in a manner that is fair and respectful."

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, vdugale@etfo.org