TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - ETFO Simcoe County teachers, occasional teachers, and designated early childhood educators (DECEs) will stage a one-day strike this Friday December 14th to send the government a message that Bill 115 is severely impeding local collective bargaining.
"There are two solutions to the chaos that the minister of education has created," said Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. "Along with repealing Bill 115, the minister needs to step aside and give school boards and ETFO locals the latitude to have concrete and respectful discussions with all options on the table, to reach collective agreements."
"There has never been a time when there was so much interference from an education minister in local bargaining efforts," said Janet Bigham, President of the Simcoe County Teacher Local. "The loss of local autonomy has forced us into strike action, and it is a direct result of this government's actions."
"Bill 115 has stripped our members of their democratic rights. They are standing up for those rights with this action, regardless of how difficult and inconvenient that may be," added Amy Chevis, President of the Simcoe County Occasional Teacher Local.
"Our members will not be intimidated into accepting an imposed agreement when we have the right to negotiate a fair agreement under Ontario law here," said Amanda Judd, President of the Simcoe County DECEs.
The locals moved into a legal strike position on December 3, 2012. They received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse Simcoe County District School Board. During a vote on September 20, 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 Simcoe Country Teacher Local represents 2,165 elementary teachers employed by Simcoe Country District School Board. The Simcoe Country Occasional Teacher Local represents 625 Occasional Teachers and the Simcoe Country DECE local represents 179 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:
Janet Bigham, Simcoe County Teacher Local President, 705-795-2183, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Chevis, Occasional Teacher President, 705-725-0316, email@example.com
Amanda Judd, Simcoe County DECE President, 705-734-8960, firstname.lastname@example.org