TORONTO, ON - Jan 23 2013 — “The repeal of Bill 115 is a first step in the right direction,” said Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) President, Ken Coran. "Bill 115 was unnecessary, and as we warned the government, resulted in chaos in the education system, alienated teachers and support staff and destroyed their good will."
Coran was commenting on the announcement today by Education Minister, Laurel Broten, that Bill 115 had been repealed. The Minister of Education used Bill 115 on January 3rd to override the Ontario Labour Relations Act to impose contracts on thousands of teachers and educational support staff in the province.
“The minister's action today in repealing Bill 115 is only the first step,” Coran emphasized. “The new leader of the Liberal Party needs to sit down with OSSTF/FEESO immediately to begin the process of rebuilding the trust and respect that has been damaged by the actions of the current Minister of Education and her government. Good will is earned, and can only be achieved through collaborative, respectful working relationships. Repairing the damage that has been done will be challenging and needs to be at the top of the new leader's agenda. Restoring our collective bargaining rights so that we can work together to solve the current conflict is the next step.”
Coran concluded by saying, “We have always acknowledged the financial concerns that the government currently faces. OSSTF/FEESO offered real solutions to the Minister of Education that were ignored. We want to have a genuine conversation with the new Premier as soon as possible so that we can move forward and ensure that our democratic collective bargaining rights are restored and respected."
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.