TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Lambton-Kent public elementary teachers and occasional teachers 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."
"A strike is the only way that we can send the minister a message that she can't strip educators of their democratic right to collectively bargain," said Ron Rivait, president of the Lambton-Kent Teacher Local. "Legally, education bargaining takes place at the local level but Bill 115 has severely impeded those talks between the board and our local."
"Regardless of how difficult or inconvenient a strike may be, teachers are standing up for democratic rights in this province," added Marion Collop, president of the Lambton-Kent Occasional Teacher Local. "The government can't simply abolish the rights of working Ontarians and have its actions met with silence."
During a vote on September 12, 2012, the locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The locals moved into a legal strike position on December 5, 2012. Prior to that, they received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Lambton-Kent 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 Lambton-Kent Teacher Local represents 871 elementary teachers employed by Lambton-Kent District School Board. The Lambton-Kent Occasional Teacher Local represents 329 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
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