The following ETFO media release was issued on September 29, 2015.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) filed an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board at 1:00 p.m. today over the refusal of the government and the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) to bargain in good faith.
ETFO’s complaint cites that the Crown (government) and OPSBA have violated their obligation under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (Act) to bargain in good faith by setting parameters for continuing collective bargaining. The requirement is that ETFO agree to elements of the recent Memorandum of Settlement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF). The refusal of the government and OPSBA to engage in bargaining unless ETFO agrees to these preconditions has violated the “good faith” duties imposed on all parties by the Act,according to ETFO’s complaint.
“The obstinacy of this government and OPSBA to try and impose a deal on ETFO members while refusing to continue negotiations has pushed us to take this action,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “While some of these preconditions relate to sick leave and fair hiring practices under Regulation 274, their refusal to bargain means we have not been able to address key concerns specific to the elementary level such as larger class sizes, fewer student supports and poorer working conditions, all of which negatively impact on student learning conditions.”
“We have consistently said that ETFO would return to the table at any time to negotiate a fair and reasonable collective agreement that is specific for ETFO members. We had hoped that the government and OPSBA would do the same and negotiate in good faith,” added Hammond.
After seven days of bargaining with ETFO this fall, the government and OPSBA abruptly left the table on September 11th.