Legislation Not Required, Local Negotiations Continue

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 17, 2012) - "The Ontario Government's decision to propose unnecessary legislation against the education workers and school boards of this province is puzzling," said Ken Coran, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) in response to the Minister of Education Laurel Broten's announcement yesterday.

"The Government shows a complete lack of faith in the normal negotiating process that has always worked between local school boards and education unions," continued Coran. "Instead, the McGuinty government wants to make its own rules, rather than allowing the school boards, who are our employers, to work out a deal unobstructed by the politicians. The government is showing contempt for the bargaining processes that are enshrined in law and that have always worked. We are currently reviewing the legality and constitutionality of the proposed legislation and are preparing for a legal challenge if it should become law. Our focus is on getting deals at the local level."

The school boards and unions, the people who work daily with students, understand what is needed to guarantee a positive learning environment and future success for students. OSSTF/FEESO teachers and support staff will be in their schools and with their students on the first day of school, working to ensure that students continue to receive the resources and support they need to continue moving forward.

"Real negotiations take time, and imposing impossible deadlines can lead to unwanted and unnecessary conflict and crisis. OSSTF/FEESO wants to avoid getting caught up in a crisis that the Minister of Education appears to be creating," Coran concluded.

OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

Contact Information:

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
Ken Coran
416.751.8300 or 1.800.267.7867