TORONTO, May 27, 2015 /CNW/ - The government's imposition of back-to-work legislation on secondary school teachers in Durham, Rainbow and Peel regions is an attack on public secondary teachers' right to strike, according to the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA).
"The government is using the Education Relations Commission to circumvent its own bargaining legislation," said OECTA president James Ryan.
During discussions leading up to Bill 122 in 2014, the government made it very clear that the Education Relations Commission (ERC) had no role in the bargaining process. Yet today, for political expediency, the government has resurrected the ERC to justify and substantiate its own actions.
"This continues a pattern of the government's disingenuous approach to bargaining, which includes claiming its austerity agenda is the reason for impasse," said Ryan. "In fact, this is an issue of fundamental rights, which the government, in conjunction with the school boards, wants to strip from teacher collective agreements."
Ryan said the government must stop asserting that the current labour disputes are about compensation, when the real issues are contract strips that would allow school boards to dictate teachers' working conditions, remove their professional autonomy, and interfere with their capacity to meet student needs.
OECTA represents the almost 50,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
SOURCE Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
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