TORONTO, Aug. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - Today's announcement of proposed
legislation to dictate the terms and processes for labour negotiations
in Ontario's public schools attempts to infringe upon the democratic
role and historic success of education in this province.
The bargaining process currently in place in Ontario works when school
board employers and employees can sit down together to negotiate issues
best understood by those parties. As the four associations
representing English-Public, French-Public, English-Catholic and French
Catholic schools, OPSBA, ACEPO, AFOCSC, & OCSTA strongly oppose any
legislation that would supersede the local collective bargaining
process. School boards and their local employee groups understand the
needs of students in their communities and have the moral and legal
responsibility to represent their interests.
The proposed legislation announced today attempts to over-ride several
important pieces of legislation that have governed rights and protected
citizens over many decades. The content of the proposed legislation
does not put students first, despite its title.
We feel strongly that the parents of Ontario expect school boards to
protect the quality of education in the classroom and the future of the
education system by making decisions that are not driven by political
expediency but are focused squarely on what is in the best interests of
students and teachers in the classroom.
Our Associations agree with the concerns that have been expressed
publicly by Directors, Supervisory Officers, trustees and school boards
around the elimination of professional development days, the
restrictions placed on the system-wide use of diagnostic assessment
data, the introduction of seniority as a key determining factor in the
hiring practice, the removal of the enhancement monies in order to
achieve financial targets and, specifically in regards to the AEFO
agreement, the supervision parameters.
School boards in this province are committed to doing their part in
Ontario's current fiscal climate, but cannot and will not endorse a
course of action that jeopardizes the education of students and the
role of school boards in the democratic process.
We urge the government to respect the law and to work in an environment
of mutual respect with its partners in education.
SOURCE: Ontario Public School Boards' Association
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