TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Hamilton-Wentworth public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, and designated early childhood educators (DECEs) will stage a one-day strike this Monday December 17th 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."
"We do not take this action lightly. The loss of local autonomy is very destructive for a local bargaining process that has worked well for decades," said Lisa Hammond, president of the Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local.
"The education minister told the public for months that Bill 115 would bring labour peace but it has had entirely the opposite effect, which is very unfortunate for everyone," added Rian McLaughlin, president of the Hamilton-Wentworth Occasional Teacher Local.
"Educators have been stripped of their democratic rights. If we don't stand up to draconian laws like Bill 115 then who will?" said Tamara DuFour, president of the Hamilton-Wentworth DECE Local.
The locals moved into a legal strike position on December 10, 2012. They received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. During a vote on September 24, 2012, the 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 Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local represents 2,196 elementary teachers employed by Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. The Hamilton-Wentworth Occasional Teacher Local represents 640 Occasional Teachers and the DECE Local represents 160 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:
Lisa Hammond, Hamilton-Wentworth Teacher Local President, 905-517-8187, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rian McLaughlin, Occasional Teacher Local President, 905-741-6211, email@example.com
Tamara DuFour, Hamilton-Wentworth DECE Local President, 905-979-0717, firstname.lastname@example.org