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OSSTF/FEESO to begin information pickets and limited withdrawal of administrative services

TORONTO, ON November 21, 2019 — Teachers and Education Workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) will begin their first province-wide job action in more than twenty years, starting November 26, as central negotiations enter their eighth month.

Federation members will engage in information pickets before or after school, or during lunch periods, designed to educate the public about the Ford government’s destructive plans for Ontario’s publicly-funded education system, and the negative effect those plans will have on the learning environment for students all across the province. The information pickets will not disrupt the regular school day and will have no effect on students in the classroom. Educators will simply distribute information to parents and to the general public.

In addition to their efforts to inform the public, OSSTF/FEESO members will begin a limited withdrawal of services that will affect government or school board initiatives only. These job actions will have no impact on student learning. Duties that OSSTF/FEESO members will NOT perform include:

  • Participation in EQAO preparation or testing
  • Completion/Submission of Ministry of Education Data Reports
  • Participation in School Board Professional Activities that are based on Ministry of Education or School Board Initiatives
  • Participation in unpaid staff meetings outside the regular school day
  • Providing comments on any secondary provincial report cards
  • Will not perform the work of another Bargaining Unit, even if directed by administration

“Doug Ford’s Minister of Education would have Ontarians believe that he’s eager to get to a deal,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. “But the bargaining process has been underway for months now, and through that entire time the government side of the table has willfully avoided any meaningful discussion of issues that are crucial to the quality of education in Ontario. They have simply refused to acknowledge the devastating effect that increased class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and the loss of thousands of teacher and support staff positions will have on the province’s students.”

“Surely the Minister should know by now that any discussion that excludes those critical issues is not going to lead to a deal,” continued Bischof. “By refusing to address those serious concerns, the Ford government is telling our members that it simply doesn’t care about the quality of education in Ontario, and it doesn’t care about the front-line workers who deliver that education. That’s why our members, frustrated by the abject lack of progress at the bargaining table, have delivered an overwhelming strike mandate.”

“The commencement of these job actions does not preclude the achievement of a negotiated agreement. OSSTF/FEESO remains committed to negotiating solutions that focus on quality learning environments, student success, and the continued viability of publicly-funded education in Ontario,” concluded Bischof.

All of OSSTF/FEESO’s bargaining proposals, along with those from the government side of the table, can be found at bargainingforeducation.ca.

 

 

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

Harvey Bischof, President

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation

Phone: 416-751-8300

Toll Free: 1-800-267-7867

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