Media Release – April 8, 2014
The School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 will help ensure a balanced and fair bargaining process for the education sector thanks to amendments based on recommendations by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and other education unions.
“Our goal was to uphold the principles of free collective bargaining by ensuring the process is fair and balanced,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Both the government and the NDP responded with amendments that addressed our major concerns about Bill 122.”
Among other items, the amendments establish clear roles and responsibilities for the three parties at the central bargaining table – the government, school board representatives, and the union. They limit the ability of the government to control the central table items for negotiation. Most importantly, the Act protects local bargaining and the right to strike at both provincial and local levels.
The Act represents an important step forward from the lack of clear rules and responsibilities that characterized the previous rounds of informal provincial discussions between the government and education unions.
“Ontario’s education system is made stronger when governments work collaboratively with the federations representing front-line teachers and education professionals,” said Hammond.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals. It recently released Building Better Schools, ETFO’s education agenda for building a better learning environment for all students at www.buildingbetterschools.ca.