LONDON, ON, Aug. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The application for conciliation by the London District Catholic School Board is highly inflammatory. The move needlessly exposes students, parents and teachers to unrest in our schools this fall as the board seeks to change teachers' collective agreement unilaterally, says Shelley Malone, Vice-President of the London District Unit of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA).
"The London Catholic board refuses to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Ontario government and OECTA because it wants to impose major changes on our collective agreement that they know we can't agree to. Applying for conciliation clearly signals the board's intention. The board may also lock out teachers early in the school year by applying for conciliation."
Malone says teachers' only recourse then would be to take strike action.
OECTA and the Minister of Education are committed to the MoU, which will allow boards to meet their required fiscal objectives over the next two years, without compromising the classroom experience for students. The MoU allows local bargaining on non-monetary issues to continue until December 31, 2012 in the Catholic boards it covers, so there's no rush, says Malone.
"The MoU protects the London Catholic board's interests and yet the board's leadership is rejecting direction from the Premier and the Minister of Education to implement the agreement. Instead they're taking extremely aggressive action against teachers. You have to wonder what the board really thinks it's protecting with this latest move. It's certainly not students, parents or the future *of Catholic education in this province," says Malone.
OECTA represents the 43,000 professional women and men who teach all grades in publicly funded English Catholic schools in Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association
For further information:
Shelley Malone, Vice-President
London District OECTA Unit