A sorry day for Ontario on International Human Rights Day
TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - As countries around the world celebrate
International Human Rights Day today, Ontario public elementary
teachers and education professionals have been forced into one-day
strikes starting today to protest the loss of their fundamental rights.
"Bill 115 threatens the very democratic values and institutions like
public education that have built Ontario," said Sam Hammond President
of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO). "How
unfortunate that the premier of this province has today trivialized
this most important fight against Bill 115 as a disagreement over pay."
"The education sector's response to Bill 115 is not about a wage freeze
or pause in salaries. This strike action is about the government's
unprecedented interference in the right to collectively bargain, a
legal right provided for all people under Ontario law."
Bill 115 gives the Ontario education minister unprecedented powers to
impose collective agreements on school boards and locals, removing
autonomy from boards and ETFO locals that want to find fair, respectful
solutions. The bill not only puts the minister above the Ontario Human
Rights Code and the Ontario Labour Relations Act, it allows no judicial
appeal in provincial courts - a tactic rarely if ever used in
"In democratic votes earlier this fall, teachers, occasional teachers,
designated early childhood educators, professional support personnel,
and educational support personnel voted overwhelmingly for strike
action if warranted to protest the loss of their rights resulting from
Bill 115," added Hammond.
"It is a sorry day for democracy in Ontario when educators are forced to
strike because this government thinks nothing of trampling on their
fundamental rights. Ontarians need to ask themselves - if this can
happen to teachers, then who is next?"
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, firstname.lastname@example.org