Province to ask Labour Relations Board to stop teachers' protest
Lawyers for the Ontario Government go to the Ontario Labour Relations Board at University and Dundas Thursday afternoon, with the goal of trying to headoff Friday's planned one-day protest by the Elementary Teachers Federation.
The Ministry of Education will also ask for a cease and desist order against the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation which is planning a day of protest, province-wide, next Wednesday.
While the unions are calling this a day of protest, the government view is these would constitute illegal strike action because new contracts were put in place by Queen's Park a week ago and it's a violation of the Labour Relations Act to strike or lockout while a contract is in effect.
Many public school boards in Ontario (including all of the public boards in the Greater Toronto Area) have said the elementary schools would be closed to students on Friday if the teachers don't show, but any teacher who opts to come into work would be paid and would do things such as test marking and catching up on paperwork.
NewsTalk 1010 has learned that Friday's protest will be for a two hour period. OSSTF president Ken Coran says he has been in touch with ETFO president Sam Hammond and has been informed that teachers will be gather in their schools in the morning and walkout for approximately two to three hours.
Coran won't say exactly what his members are planning to do next week only saying that he'll wait to see what the OLRB's decision is before going ahead.
Should the protest be deemed illegal by the Labour Relations Board, any teacher who takes part would be subject to a fine of $2,000 per day. The union would face a fine of $25,000.
(Files by D. Agar)