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Labour Negotiations

UPDATE – November 13, 2019

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) will be in a legal strike position on Monday, November 18, 2019 and Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will be in a legal strike position on Monday, November 25, 2019.

This does not mean that strikes are planned or will take place. A union must alert the public at least five days in advance before it can go on strike or withdraw services.

The OCDSB is preparing for how we could support students and parents in the event of a partial or full strike. Our priority focus is the health and safety of students. We will inform the community as soon as any new information becomes available.



Background:

Collective agreements for all employee groups in the Ontario education sector, except for principals and vice principals, expired on August 31, 2019.

At the OCDSB, employees are represented by two unions across nine bargaining units:

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) represents elementary teachers and occasional teachers; and
  • The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) represents secondary teachers; secondary occasional teachers; office, clerical and technical staff; custodial and maintenance staff; educational assistants; early childhood educators; adult education workers; and professional support staff.

How do negotiations work?

Collective bargaining is governed by the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 (SBCBA) which establishes a two-tiered bargaining process:

Local negotiations are conducted between the OCDSB and the unions listed above. Central negotiations are done by the provincial representatives of the employee (unions) and the employer (the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association represents the OCDSB). The government, through the Ministry of Education, is also required to participate.

Decisions about which items are negotiated locally or centrally is determined by a central table. Those items not considered “central” will then be handled at a local level. The OCDSB and local unions will negotiate these items through the steps of the collective bargaining process.

What does the Board hope to achieve through labour negotiations?

The OCDSB values all of our employees and remains committed to good faith bargaining and fair and fully-funded collective agreements which support student learning and well-being.

What impact will this have on schools?

While negotiations are underway, all OCDSB schools are currently open with no changes to service. We are hopeful we will be able to work with our unions to come to an agreement.

What does it mean when a union takes a strike vote?

A strike vote is a step in the labour relations process. A strike vote is a vote of the union membership which authorizes their union to take strike action which could be a full or partial withdrawal of service or work to rule. A vote does not mean a strike is planned or will take place.

How much notice must a union provide if it plans to go on strike?

A union must alert the public at least five days in advance before it can go on strike or withdraw services. Strike actions could take a variety of forms including full or partial withdrawal of services or work to rule.

Is the OCDSB preparing for a strike?

In any labour negotiations, there is always potential for disruptions. The OCDSB is preparing for how we could support students and parents in the event of a partial or full strike from teachers, support staff, or child care workers. Our priority focus is the health and safety of students.

How can parents prepare for a potential strike?

We know labour negotiations can be uncertain and we will continue to keep you informed. There are no strikes currently scheduled to take place, but we did want to ensure you are prepared for the possibility of labour disruption. For example, parents with young children or those in extended day programs may wish to consider in advance what other options they might have for childcare or speak with their employer about possible flexibility in work arrangements.

How will the community be informed?

Regular updates will continue to be provided by email and posting of the latest news to our Labour Negotiations webpage and social media accounts. Should you have any urgent questions, please contact your school principal.

Will actions taken by other unions, such as CUPE, affect OCDSB schools?

No. There are other unions in Ontario (for example, CUPE) but they do not have bargaining units at the OCDSB and their actions will not affect OCDSB schools.

Previous Updates


Labour Negotiations - November 08, 2019
Labour Negotiations
- November 07, 2019
Labour Negotiations - October 25, 2019
Labour Negotiations - October 18, 2019
Labour Negotiations
- October 02, 2019
Labour Negotiations - 30 September 2019
Labour Negotiations
 29 September 2019
Labour Negotiations
- 24 September 2019

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