Opening Statement



Friday, 23 December 2016

OSSTF: No Deal On Contract Extensions!

My Teacher Acronym Guide is HERE!



Holidazed?!? School's Out -Merry Teacher Christmas!

OSSTF [Ontario Secondary School Teacher Federation] provides a rare public update on their negotiations with the troubled Ontario Wynne government. Wynne and the MOE [Ministry of Education] want to extend the existing teacher contracts as they attempt to negotiate compensation under the court's Bill 115 ruling. Links follow. Here's the OSSTF Update: 

The road to a possible extension of the current collective agreements for teachers/occasional teachers and support staff employed by school boards, which had been proposed by the provincial government in September, came to an abrupt dead-end on November 24. Discussions were halted when it became clear that the government was unwilling to honour its commitment that the school boards’ associations would not be allowed to play a significant role in the discussions.

The prospect of a contract extension was floated by government representatives when they met twice with OSSTF/FEESO in September to begin discussions of a possible remedy for the successful Charter challenge to Bill 115, which had been launched by OSSTF/FEESO and a number of other unions.

The Provincial Executive made it clear to the government representatives that any consideration of a proposal to extend the collective agreements would require approval and input from OSSTF/FEESO local leaders. Accordingly, a special meeting of local OSSTF/FEESO Presidents, Provincial Councilors and Chief Negotiators, as well as the Provincial Collective Bargaining Committee, was held in Toronto on September 29.



At the Provincial Council meeting the following day, motions were passed setting out a clear process for the negotiation of a possible contract extension and Bill 115 remedy, as well as a ratification process. A brief was approved at a subsequent meeting of Presidents and Chief Negotiators on October 13, and discussions commenced with government representatives on October 19.

OSSTF/FEESO had sought and received assurances from the government that the school boards’ associations would not have substantive input into these talks, but as discussions unfolded over a total of six dates during the following weeks, it became apparent that the school boards were playing an increasingly central role. And ultimately—though not surprisingly, given our experience in the last round of central table negotiations—it was the intransigence of the school boards’ associations that precipitated the termination of discussions.

Rather than embrace a collaborative approach to problem-solving, the boards refused to consider a mutual-consent process for mid-term amendments to collective agreements. And given the offer of funding for hundreds of additional support staff to assist and support the province’s most vulnerable students, the boards refused to guarantee that the funding would be used to provide that additional staff.

With the government’s failure to limit the role of the school boards in these discussions, and the determination of the boards’ representatives to undermine progress by clinging to needlessly antagonistic positions, it was not possible to come to an agreement.

OSSTF/FEESO is now preparing to commence local and central bargaining next year under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, and to pursue a ruling for the Bill 115 Charter challenge remedy through the courts. LINK


COMMENTARY

The Supreme Court has defacto ruled that the Wynne government, along with our province's school board trustees, acted in bad faith during 2012-13, when they imposing concession contracts our provinces teachers under Bill 115, aka "The OECTA Road Map". They have now been ordered to offer compensation.

The Wynne government has made it clear that they would like to negotiate a compensation deal, rather than let the courts decide what is to be done. Their plan would also conveniently delay another possible teacher strike or work action until after the next provincial election. It is very unclear to me why we would want to continue to thereby enable them in their despicable folly. 



OECTA: Me Too! Me Too?

The Neo Liberal Wynne government actively pursued a very negative "divide and conquer" strategy with our province's teacher unions again during the 2014-15 teacher CB [Collective Bargaining] talks. They nefariously continued to march to the corporate austerity agenda, paying for corporate tax cuts on the backs of our students, teachers and education system. Most regretfully, as the OSSTF memo shows, the OPSBA [Ontario Public School Board Association] trustee's are still up to their old "negotiation" tricks, with another nasty deceit, with their proposed fall 2016 contract extension talks!

Thankfully, one of our teacher unions is finally, clearly standing up to the manipulative Wynne Liberal's and her trustee bullies on behalf of the province's teachers. But, what about ETFO [Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario], or OECTA [Ontario English Catholic Teacher Union], or for that matter CUPE -Canadian Union Public Employees] representing many of Ontario's education workers?

What next? Where do we go from here?



LINKS:

Teacher Free Speech Archives 2011-2016 @ Here!

Teacher Free Speech + Grass Root Renewal @ Here!

On Bill 115: Glitches in the Matrix Here!

On Bill 115 -OECTA: What Was Said @ Here!

The OECTA Road Map + Putting Student's First Act [2012] @ Here!

Comparing the OSSTF + OECTA MOU [2012-13] @ Here!

OPSBA: What Was OSSTF Offered [2015] @ Here!

OLP Teacher Union Showdown [2015] @ Here!

On The Wynne Ultimatum and Teacher Bashing [2015] @ There!

Corporate Tax Cuts 2 B Paid For By Students + Teachers @ There!

One provincial teacher + support worker union @ And There!


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