TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 11, 2012) - "The passing of Bill 115 today represents one of the darkest days in the history of workers' rights in recent memory," said OSSTF/FEESO President Ken Coran. "This government has now passed a law that tramples on the rights of education workers in Ontario, and it appears that Premier McGuinty will be targeting other workers in the near future."
"The passage of this law is undemocratic and unprecedented, and was unnecessary," continued Coran. "McGuinty and Hudak have thumbed their noses at democratic rights in this province."
"This law now gives the Minister of Education sweeping powers over the negotiations process and takes away the ability of our members and the democratically elected school boards to engage in a free collective bargaining process that has been successful for many years," said Coran.
On the issue of how OSSTF/FEESO will proceed with the negotiations process, Coran stated, "We will continue to follow the rules and laws that govern the collective bargaining process under the Ontario Labour Relations Act in our attempts to secure agreements with our members' employers; the school boards of Ontario. We will continue with local negotiations and urge the government to stop interfering with our legal right to collectively bargain."
"Premier McGuinty should not expect that our members or the workers of Ontario to sit idly while the government strips them of their basic and fundamental labour rights," concluded Coran.
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.