TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - ETFO Ontario North East teachers and occasional teachers will stage a one-day strike this Monday December 10th to send the government a message that local agreements aren't achievable under Bill 115.
"Unfortunately the government has tied our hands and we have exhausted our options at the local bargaining table," said Monica Rusnak, President of Local Ontario North East Teachers. "Bill 115 set out such restrictive parameters that it left us no room to achieve a fair collective agreement."
"Bill 115 requires local collective agreements to be substantively identical to the OECTA Memorandum of Understanding which our members have very clearly rejected. Our members have been without a collective agreement since August 2012 and the threat of an imposed agreement with unprecedented concessions looms large," added Rusnak.
"We have not taken this decision lightly," said David Livingston, President of Local Ontario North East Occasional Teacher Local. "For the first time in our 14 year history, Ontario North East ETFO members will be forced to take full scale job action."
Both locals will be in a legal strike position this Friday. They have received no board reports through the conciliator appointed by the Ministry of Labour to resolve their bargaining impasse with Ontario Near North District School Board.
Local bargaining stalled following the passage in September of Bill 115, which has imposed drastic cuts to ETFO members' collective agreements and attacks their democratic rights.
During a vote on October 3, 2012, both locals received overwhelming mandates for strike action from their members. The Ontario Labour Relations Act requires that a strike mandate and a no board report must be received, and 16 days must pass following the receipt of the no board report, before legal strike action can occur.
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 Ontario North East Teacher Local represents 299 elementary teachers employed by Ontario North East District School Board. The Occasional Teacher Local represents 140 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:
Monica Rusnak, Ontario North East Teacher Local President, 705-235-8181 Cell: 705-262-2811 email@example.com