Across the province, Teachers and Education Workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) are set to begin their first provincial level job action in over twenty years, starting November 26, as central negotiations enter their eighth month.
Locally, District 26 Upper Canada Teachers, Occasional Teachers, and Education Workers – Professional Student Service Personnel will engage in information pickets that will take place before school, after school and during lunch periods at Upper Canada District School Board schools and worksites. These actions will not impact the regular school day. Educators will simply distribute information to parents and 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 adminstration
“It is imperative that education workers, parents, guardians, and communities stand together to protect the education of our children,” says Adrienne McEwen, OSSTF District 26 Teacher Bargaining Unit President. “Taking time to educate with our information pickets is critical – we have a duty to not only students, but to our community as well to ensure that everyone knows the devastating effects of Ford’s education agenda, and more specifically, what that means for our predominantly rural-based, Upper Canada students.”
Throughout the central bargaining process, the Ford government has failed to address crucial issues that affect student learning and the quality of education in the province. They have refused to acknowledge the negative impact increased class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and the loss of thousands of teacher and support staff positions will have on the province’s students. Frustrated by a lack of progress at the bargaining table, OSSTF/FEESO members voted overwhelmingly in favour of job action earlier this month.
OSSTF/FEESO remains committed to negotiating solutions that are focused on quality learning environments, student success, and the continued viability of publicly-funded education in Ontario.
All of OSSTF/FEESO’s bargaining proposals, along with those from the management team of Ford government and school board representatives, can be found at www.bargainingforeducation.ca.
OSSTF District 26 represents more than 600 contract teachers, more than 200 occasional teachers and more than 20 professional staff.