TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Over 45,000 members of the Elementary
Teachers' Federation of Ontario have already voted on-line on whether
to hold a full-day political protest should the Minister of Education
impose a collective agreement or end a legal strike using Bill 115
Member participation in the vote has been so overwhelming that ETFO has
extended the vote by 24 hours to Tuesday December 4th at midnight. By Monday evening, there were no signs of the vote slowing
"Through this transparent democratic process, ETFO's 76,000 members will
determine how they will respond if the education minister tramples
their rights by imposing a collective agreement or ending a legal
strike," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "Teachers and education
professionals are united in their stand that this government has
severely overstepped democratic bounds with Bill 115."
"I am accountable to my members, and they are speaking loudly and
clearly," said Hammond. "Why would educators, or any workers in Ontario
for that matter, allow this government to willfully suspend employees'
fundamental rights by using legislation that puts itself above the
Ontario Human Rights Code, the Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the
Bill 115, passed by the Liberal government with support from the
Progressive Conservatives, was made law on September 11, 2012. It gives
the minister of education unprecedented powers to end legal strike
action, approve all collective agreements, or impose a collective
agreement. The law, crafted in part to win by-elections in September,
allows no judicial appeal in provincial courts - a tactic rarely if
ever used in democracies.
In local votes held earlier this fall, ETFO members overwhelmingly
approved strike action. Later this week, ETFO will announce details on
commencing one-day strikes in boards across the province. Parents will
be given 72 hours' notice of these strikes.
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:
Izida Zorde, ETFO Media Relations- Cell: 416-948-2554, firstname.lastname@example.org