ETFO Waterloo Region locals to stage one-day strike on Tuesday December 18

TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Waterloo Region public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, and designated early childhood educators (DECEs) 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."

"Bill 115 was crafted by this government in part to win a by-election in this region," said Greg Weiler, president of the Waterloo Region Teacher Local. "Not only did that strategy fail, the law has needlessly fuelled labour strife for which the education minister and premier remain accountable."

"Our members will not stand by and allow their democratic rights to be trampled on by this minister," added Judith Cutts, president of the Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local.

"If job action is the only way to send a message to the minister, then that's what our members are prepared to do," said Jenn Wallage, president of the Waterloo DECE Local.

During a vote on September 24, 2012, the locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The locals will move into a legal strike position on December 17, 2012. Prior to that, they received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Waterloo Region 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 Waterloo Region Teacher Local represents 2,537 elementary teachers employed by Waterloo Region District School Board. The Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local represents 986 Occasional Teachers and the DECE Local represents 129 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:

Greg Weiler, Waterloo Region Teacher Local, 519-404-2582, greg_weiler@wrdsb.on.ca
Judith Cutts, Waterloo Region Occasional Teacher Local, 519-998-6370, jcutts@etfowatots.ca
Jenn Wallage, Waterloo DECE Local, 519-503-1077, jennwallage@gmail.com

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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