ETFO Grand Erie locals to stage one-day strike on Tuesday December 18

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Grand Erie public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, and designated early childhood educators (DECEs) will stage a one-day strike this Tuesday December 18 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 interference."

"The stripping of democratic rights to collectively bargain is an extremely serious situation, not just for educators but for all working Ontarians," said Donna Howey, president of the Grand Erie Teacher Local. "The minister's willful imposition of Bill 115 has left us with no option but to strike."

"Bill 115 has taken away local autonomy. The minister needs to step aside and let boards and locals proceed with fair and respectful discussions," added Kevin Utley, president of the Grand Erie Occasional Teacher Local.

"Our members are standing up for their rights. We cannot let this government undo the democratic foundations on which this province was built," said Patricia Hammond, president of the Grand Erie DECE Local.

During a vote on September 24, 2012, the locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The locals will move into a legal strike position on December 14, 2012. Prior to that, they received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Grand Erie District School Board. 

Fast Facts:

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 Grand Erie Teacher Local represents 1,000 elementary teachers employed by Grand Erie District School Board. The Grand Erie Region Occasional Teacher Local represents 476 Occasional Teachers and the DECE Local represents 56 DECEs.

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:

Donna Howey, Grand Erie Teacher Local President, 519-770-6062,
Kevin Utley, Occasional Teacher Local President, 519-536-9711,
Patricia Hammond, Grand Erie DECE Local President, 519-720-8460,

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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