TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Thames Valley public elementary teachers and occasional teachers will stage a one-day strike this Thursday December 20 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 government and this minister are on thin ice. They have arbitrarily taken away our right to bargain collectively and our members won't stand for it," said Phillip Mack, president of Thames Valley Teacher Local. "Bill 115 is a huge mistake. By wielding its unprecedented powers, the minister has put our education system in jeopardy."
"As difficult and inconvenient as strike action may be, educators are leading the way in standing up for democratic rights in this province," added Terry Card, president of Thames Valley Occasional Teacher Local.
During a vote on October 1, 2012, the locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The locals moved into a legal strike position on December 3, 2012. Prior to that, they received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Thames Valley 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 Thames Valley Teacher Local represents 3,275 elementary teachers employed by Thames Valley District School Board. The Thames Valley Occasional Teacher Local represents 936 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:
Phillip Mack, Thames Valley Teacher Local President, 519-474-3150, email@example.com
Terry Card, Thames Valley Occasional Teacher Local President, 519-671-0934, firstname.lastname@example.org