Ontario high school teachers take further action
Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 1:16PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 11:16AM EST
The Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) has pulled its tentative agreement with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board off the table and cancelled ratification meetings.
This means job action will resume at 8 a.m. Monday in Ottawa public high schools.
In an e-mail to its members, the OSSTF said the tentative agreement they recommended to their members had been changed by the Ontario government and was therefore "null and void."
In a statement to CTV News late Sunday, Minister of Education Laurel Broten said "there has been no interference in local bargaining. That allegation is completely false."
Many students said the deal being cancelled is bad news as thousands are affected in different ways.
“There's no extra-curriculars and those are good to put on university applications,” said Isabelle Boudreau. “So there's not much you can do, it's really hard to get extra help especially if you're struggling with lots of the academic work.”
“It affects the arts, I’m in dance,” said Grade 11 student Samuel Davalon. “We don’t really know if certain events are going to be happening, if we'll get the same things as last year, so it's really crazy.”
In the e-mail the union said the work to rule order is “mandatory” for everyone.
Conservative education critic and Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod said Sunday that it is time for Broten to step in.
"I've asked the minister of education to evoke her own law, the one she brought in in Bill 115 that empowers her to stop strikes and if she is ignored by ministerial order, then she can start fining the unions that go off side."
In several memos obtained by CTV Ottawa, elementary school teachers, who are set to begin job action Monday, are being warned by their union of potential consequences if they do not comply with job action.
According to the memo sent by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, teachers not complying with job action "may be subject to disciplinary procedures that include the possibility of a monetary find of up to $500 per day."
Teachers may also have their names published in a union document, according to the memo.
MacLeod said that move is heavy handed.
"That's wrong," she said. "This is about kids in classrooms. We were promised that by Dalton McGuinty, and Laurel Broten and I'm simply suggesting follow your own law."
High school teachers will show discontent with school boards and the Ontario government by:
- not attending meetings
- not participating or organizing professional development activities
- not participating in school improvement plans
- not administering provincial standardized tests
- not providing administrative assistance
- not covering for absent staff
- not providing supervision beyond classroom time
- not communicating with parents during after school hours
Elementary school teachers have also warned parents job action could begin Monday. Their untion has said province-wide one day walkouts are possible with 72-hour notice.
The school board says if teachers walkout, schools will close due to safety concerns.
The labour dispute with teachers has been ongoing since the introduction of Bill 115. The bill gives the provincial government the power to freeze wages of most teachers and cuts their benefits.
With files from CTV Ottawa's Claudia Cautillo and Katie Griffin
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