The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced Jan. 9 they plan to hold a provincewide, one-day “political protest” against the contract imposed on them by the province last week.
The government plans to file an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board Jan. 10, seeking to block what they say is an illegal strike, according to the Globe and Mail.
If the application to the labour board is approved, the government can take the matter to court. Teachers could be found in contempt of court, or the union could be fined $25,000 and individual teachers $2,000 for every day of illegal strike action.
“I know teachers are law abiding,” McGuinty is quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying. “I know they don't want to break the law. I am urging them not to.”
Meanwhile, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) also announced Jan. 9 they will hold a “day of political protest” Jan. 16 if certain conditions are not met by that date. The Globe and Mail said the protest will include a walkout.
The OSSTF's conditions to cancel the protest include the government repealing Bill 115, rescinding the Order in Council that imposed the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association memorandum of understanding, upon which the imposed contract is based, and restoring free bargaining.
The Rainbow District School Board still plans to cancel classes Jan. 11, in light of the ETFO walkout, but has yet to make an announcement about what will happen during the OSSTF protest.
OSSTF president Ken Coran said in a press release his union is willing to meet with Minister of Education Laurel Broten at any time to discuss the reinstatement of collective bargaining right.
“The premier's statements late this afternoon finally acknowledge that the Ontario Labour Relations Board and the Ontario Labour Relations Act are the appropriate avenues for dealing with labour disputes and collective bargaining issues,” he said.
“We hope his government will follow this up with the appropriate meetings to resolve the current labour situation.”