HDSB Updates on Labour Negotiations

OSSTF are calling for a province-wide 1-day strike Wednesday December 4, 2019

By: Laura Steiner

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) has been regularly updating on the status of labour negotiations with the Elementary and Secondary Teachers unions.

November 26, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced began work-to-rule procedures.  These would affect the EQAO testing, unpaid staff meetings.  Teachers also will not provide any secondary comments on report cards.  “It is important to note that these labour sanctions are occurring at the central table between provincial unions, the government of Ontario, and OPSBA, and are not a reflection of relationships between the HDSB and our local unions,” HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller said in a statement on their website.  The elementary school teachers include salary increases, as well as class sizes, and more special education supports.

High School Teachers to Hold One-Day Job Action

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced it would hold a one-day strike December 4, 2019.  The announcement follows almost a week of informational pickets.  “We do recognize that our one-day walkout will cause short-term disruption in the lives of students, parents, and we are disappointed that we’ve been driven to take this job action,” OSSTF President Harvey Bischof said.

“I call on the OSSTF to remain at the bargaining table, with third party, independent mediation until the deadline,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in a statement. At issue are class sizes, the requirement for online classes, and wages.  Educational Support staff represented by the OSSTF (those who aid with special needs) earn an estimated average of $31,995/year.

According to media reports, Bischof has indicated the walk-out could be averted if there’s a tentative deal in place.  The union is required by law to give five days notice of a strike.  Notification of the one-day strike came Thursday November 28, six days before it is scheduled to take place.