TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Upper Canada public elementary teachers
and occasional teachers will stage a one-day strike this Thursday
December 20 to continue sending the government a message that Bill 115
is severely impeding local collective bargaining.
"To date, the education minister has yet to do anything to assist local
school boards in pursuing fair and respectful negotiations with our
members," said Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers'
Federation of Ontario (ETFO). "She can end the chaos she has created by
repealing Bill 115 and letting local bargaining proceed without
"Given the rigid parameters of Bill 115, the minister has left us no
other option but to send her a message via strike action," said Marg
Merpaw, president of Upper Canada Teacher Local. "We are calling on the
Minister to restore local autonomy and stop destroying a bargaining
process that has worked for decades."
"It is unconscionable that a government would use a draconian law like
Bill 115 to sweep away the democratic rights of our members," added
Diane Dewing, president of Upper Canada Occasional Teacher Local.
"Right from the start, the minister took a 'take it or leave it
approach' to talks. That's not bargaining, that's an abuse of power
that all Ontarians should be concerned about."
During a vote on October 4, 2012, the locals received overwhelming
mandates for strike action from their members. The locals moved into a
legal strike position on December 13, 2012. Prior to that, they
received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the
Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Upper
Canada District School Board.
ETFO is the professional and protective organization representing over
76,000 teachers, occasional teachers, and education professionals
employed in the public elementary schools of Ontario.
ETFO Upper Canada Teacher Local represents 1,098 elementary teachers
employed by Upper Canada District School Board. The Upper Canada
Occasional Teacher Local represents 581 Occasional Teachers.
Collective agreements for all ETFO locals expired on August 31, 2012.
Since then, ETFO members have been working without collective
agreements in place.
SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information:
Marg Merpaw, Upper Canada Teacher Local President, 613-345-4893, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Dewing, Upper Canada Occasional Teacher Local President, 613-291-3147, email@example.com