The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) say Bill 115 violates rights set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it strips union members of the right to bargain.
“The McGuinty government has left us with little choice but to pursue legal action in order to protect the Charter rights of our members and of all Ontarians,” OSSTF president Ken Coran said in a press release.
“The expectation of all citizens is for their government to follow the rules that are laid out in our Constitution. Today, we begin a process to hold this government accountable to those rules.
“The Premier and the Minister of Education were strongly advised by many groups, including the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, that Bill 115 violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, therefore making it unconstitutional.”
Bill 115 has created “chaos in education,” CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn said in a press release.
“Even Dalton McGuinty's finance minister is suggesting Bill 115 won't survive a legal challenge,” he said.
“Now he's getting ready to bring the same unfair, unconstitutional chaos to long-term care homes, child-care centres, hospitals, universities - a huge list of the services Ontarians rely on every day.”
"Ontarians, and indeed all Canadians, need to be assured that no government will be permitted to attempt to drastically undermine employee democratic rights without facing the strongest possible challenge,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said.
"Today we are also asking the Ontario government to recognize these rights and repeal Bill 115."
Education workers are also planning to protest Bill 115 in front of Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Kathleen Wynne's Toronto constituency office Oct. 12.