UPDATE: Elementary Teachers Planning to Strike In December
The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is drawing a line in the sand.
They say they are planning full-fledged walkouts in December.
However, the EFTO members say they will give 72 hours notice when it comes to any strikes.
In a release, Sam Hammond, the Union President, called the situation
'unfortunate' but says 'we will provide parents with ample notice to ensure the safety of students.'
There are already four school boards where teachers and education professionals are in a legal strike position and have been proceeding with a work to rule campaign, come December, all boards in the province will be in legal strike positions.
Bill 115, or the 'Putting Students First Act', gives the education minister the right to impose an agreement if locals and their boards don't reach an a collective agreement by December 31st,
Hammond says they continue to negotiate with the boards, in hopes of reaching an agreement.
Education Minister Laurel Broten replied in a release: "I am disappointed to hear that ETFO will be moving ahead with strike actions. Disrupting learning time for students is not in the best interest of students.
As the Putting Students First Act allows for local bargaining until December 31, 2012, I encourage ETFO to negotiate instead of resorting to strike action
I will monitor strike actions very closely. The government does have tools to address these actions and we will explore those options if required."
The Minister's office outlined their position:
“The Putting Students First Act does not remove the right of unions to strike. The legislation gives the government tools to prevent and to end a strike if it were to happen. Specifically, the legislation gives us the ability to impose agreements and where agreements are in place, strikes and lock-outs are prohibited. This is consistent with previous collective agreements.”