TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - ETFO Avon Maitland teachers and occasional teachers will stage a one-day strike this Monday December 10th to send the government a message that Bill 115 is severely impeding local collective bargaining.
"There are two solutions to the chaos that the Minister of Education has created," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. "Along with repealing Bill 115, the Minister needs to step aside and give locals the latitude to have concrete and respectful discussions with all options on the table, in order to reach collective agreements."
"Bill 115 set such rigid parameters for local negotiations that it has been extremely difficult to reach a fair collective agreement with our board," said Merlin Leis, President of the Avon Maitland Teacher Local. "It is unfortunate that we are being forced into a strike because this government has taken away local autonomy."
"This law has stripped our members of their democratic rights," said Kim Finlayson, President of the Avon Maitland Occasional Teacher Local. "Teachers encourage students to stand up for their rights. Regardless of how difficult or inconvenient this may be, that is what our members are doing with this action."
Both locals moved into a legal strike position this past Monday. They received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Avon Maitland District School Board. During a vote on October 3, 2012, both locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members.
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 Avon Maitland Local represents 618 elementary teachers employed by Avon Maitland District School Board. Avon Maitland Occasional Teacher Local represents almost 295 Occasional Teachers employed by the Board.
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
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