ETFO Near North locals to stage one-day strike on Tuesday December 18

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Near North 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."

"The education minister must be held accountable for forcing us into a strike action with Bill 115," said Dave Bartlett, president of the Near North Teacher Local. "By removing local autonomy, she has made it more than tough for our board and local to reach an agreement that meets the needs of our classrooms."

"Our members will not be intimidated by a minister who has trampled our democratic rights," added Jan Heinonen, president of the Near North Occasional Teacher Local. "Elected officials need to know that they cannot pass draconian laws that take away the legal rights of educators or any other working Ontarians."

During a vote in September, 2012, the locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The locals moved into a legal strike position on December 13, 2012. Prior to that, they received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Near North 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 Near North Teacher Local represents 476 elementary teachers employed by Near North District School Board. The Near North Occasional Teacher Local represents 359 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

For further information:

Dave Bartlett, Near North Teacher Local President, 705-476-7109,
Jan Heinonen, Near North Occasional Teacher Local President, 705-386-0580,

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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