Statement from OECTA President James Ryan on the Introduction of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act 2013

TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario government introduced legislation that includes a mandatory process of provincial level bargaining for teachers and school boards in Ontario.

OECTA welcomes a clear, well-defined bargaining process, agreed upon by all parties - including schools boards, teachers and the government - who understand their roles and how the process will work. Since 2003, the government has introduced Provincial Discussion Tables (PDT) to facilitate bargaining. However, each Minister of Education took a slightly different approach to negotiations, resulting in uncertainty and varying levels of satisfaction with the PDT and outcomes in each bargaining round.

In the 2012 provincial budget, the government made it clear that a more centralized approach to collective bargaining for the broader public sector would be sought. As part of the agreement OECTA signed in July 2012 with the government, OECTA agreed to participate in consultations on the development of this new legislation. It was important to be involved in, and contribute to, any process that could profoundly affect our Association and our members.

Since July 2012, OECTA has provided input on the development of the legislation through the consultation process that occurred. In particular, OECTA recommended:

•     provisions for both local and provincial level bargaining, including the right to strike;

•     equity of transparency and access to information among all parties; and

•     a genuine negotiation where all parties are on equal footing.

With today's announcement, OECTA will be reviewing the legislation in more detail. Through the legislative process we will engage in opportunities to provide further input where necessary.

OECTA represents the 45,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.

James Ryan
President

JR/aa

SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

For further information:

Michelle Despault, Director of Communications
416-925-2493 ext 509, m.despault@oecta.on.ca

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Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association

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