Canada: Ontario high school teachers pull trigger to be in legal strike position by mid November - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Ontario high school teachers pull trigger to be in legal strike position by mid November

11:20  28 october  2019
11:20  28 october  2019 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

Ontario government backtracks on expanded high school class sizes

  Ontario government backtracks on expanded high school class sizes The Ontario government says it will walk back plans to increase high school class sizes in the province. Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement at a news conference this afternoon. Lecce says the government will scale the funded average class sizes back to 25 from the 28 it has been proposing for months. The issue was one of several causing tension between the government and the union representing high school teachers that'sEducation Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement at a news conference this afternoon.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers ' Teachers Federation (OSSTF) represents 60,000 members, mostly high school teachers in the 30, and there are more dates scheduled through October. Legal strike position : The union announced on Oct. 15 that it will hold strike votes from Oct.

When can Ontario teachers go on strike ? Elementary and secondary school teachers could be in a legal position to strike sometime in October. However, if the union representing non- teaching staff votes to strike earlier, classes may be cancelled at some school boards.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Harvey Bischof, president of Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation. Harvey Bischof, president of Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation.

Ontario’s public high school teachers are expected to be in a legal position to strike or stage work disruptions on Nov. 18.

The union representing the teachers as well as some support staff has asked for a “no-board” report from the conciliator in the fractious contract negotiations. Issuance of the report triggers a 17-day countdown to a legal strike position.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) is one of the major education unions engaged in contract negotiations that have become a battleground over the Progressive Conservative government’s plans to increase class sizes, cut per-pupil funding and keep wage increases to one per cent.

Ottawa education workers protest provincial government's education cuts

  Ottawa education workers protest provincial government's education cuts About 100 teachers and school staff from Ottawa schools rallied Friday near the Merivale Road office of Conservative MPP Jeremy Roberts to protest cuts to education. The protest was organized by education unions to put pressure on local MPPs as they return to the legislature Monday after a five-month break. The return to the legislature will also put the spotlight on negotiations with provincial education unions. Public high school and The protest was organized by education unions to put pressure on local MPPs as they return to the legislature Monday after a five-month break.

The high school teachers ’ union recently took the rare step of releasing all of its bargaining proposals in a bid to have “transparent” negotiations with the government. NDP education critic Marit Stiles said the Tory government needs to take the talks with OSSTF seriously. “It’s a really sad state of affairs if

take place (so) the Ontario Secondary School Teachers ’ Federation feels it now has no choice but to begin the process of conducting strike votes among its The votes are scheduled to be wrapped up by Nov . 15. OSSTF president Harvey Bischof told the Star that to date, there have been five days of

Mid November will be crunch time.

Unions representing public elementary and Catholic teachers are also conducting strike votes and expect to have results by then.

Strike votes are a common pressure tactic in negotiations and don’t mean there will be job action. Being in a legal strike position doesn’t guarantee there will be one, either, although it’s one step closer to the possibility.

About 55,000 education workers represented by CUPE began working to rule earlier this month as soon as they were legally able to do so. They also planned to strike a week later, which would have closed hundreds of schools across the province, including at the Ottawa Catholic School Board. A tentative deal was reached at the last minute.

Any work disruptions by OSSTF would affect both high schools and elementary schools. The union represents  high school teachers at English public school boards and some support staff at various boards. At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, for instance, OSSTF represents school secretaries, janitors, early childhood educators and educational assistants, among others.

Ontario legislature resumes with new tone after longest break in nearly 25 years

  Ontario legislature resumes with new tone after longest break in nearly 25 years TORONTO — Ontario's legislature returned Monday from an extended summer break, with politicians on their best behaviour in a delicate detente following a divisive federal election campaign. Gone were the endless standing ovations and loud heckling from both sides of the chamber that marked an overheated spring sitting, as the government hit a tonal reset after the longest recess in nearly a quarter century. Politicians normally return for the fall session in early September, but the five-month break meant the house didn't sit during the federal election campaign.A subdued Premier Doug Ford called for unity across the province and across Canada.

School begins Tuesday for some two million children in Ontario 's education system, amid concern that their Negotiations between the unions and school boards are ongoing, and none of the unions is in a legal strike position yet. That means, after the strike vote is finished, the union could trigger the

(The elementary- and high school teachers ’ unions are not in a legal strike position .) “All the parties worked hard together at the table to reach a fair CUPE’s strike would have taken effect during the federal election campaign in which the Liberals have been hoping that Mr. Ford’s record in Ontario

While negotiations are conducted separately for the high school teachers and the support staff, the OSSTF has requested a no-board report for both, said president Harvey Bischof.

“It’s time to demonstrate our seriousness,” he said in an interview Sunday.

The union doesn’t control when the conciliator releases the no-board report, but Bischof estimates that members will be in a legal strike position by Nov. 18.

A key issue is the government’s plan to increase high school class sizes from an average of 22 to 28 over the next four years. That would eliminate about 10,054 teaching jobs and is a key component of the government’s goal of reducing education spending.

Class sizes have inched up to an average of 22.9 this year, with some schools cancelling courses.

Last week Education Minister Stephen Lecce suggested the government would consider only raising class sizes to 25. That idea was rejected by OSSTF, which said it came along with a proposal to eliminate all the class size caps now contained in local collective agreements.

Ontario public elementary teachers vote 98 per cent in favour of strike amid stalled bargaining with Ford government

  Ontario public elementary teachers vote 98 per cent in favour of strike amid stalled bargaining with Ford government Ontario public elementary teachers vote 98 per cent in favour of strike amid stalled bargaining with Ford government The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is calling the result of the vote an “overwhelming” mandate from its 83,000 members.

The University and College Union (UCU), a trade union representing 110,000 staff at UK universities, began a strike on 22 February 2018 as part of an industrial action against 64 universities

Ontario To Force Striking Teachers Back To Work. Ontario Teachers Brace For Strike . High - School Teachers To Strike In Toronto-Area Durham District.

As negotiations with all the teachers’ unions head into critical stages, all sides are looking for public support.

Education workers have rallied behind the slogan “Cuts hurt kids,” staging rallies last week and launching social-media and advertising campaigns.

Lecce created his own version of the same message, tweeting on Friday that “strikes hurt kids” and stressing the importance of getting a deal.

He has emphasized he wants to avoid the cycle of anxiety parents face during each round of contract negotiations with education unions, wondering if there will be a work disruption.

But his government’s plans for education have met fierce resistance from unions, as well as some students and parents who say the quality of public education is under attack.

Also controversial is the government’s plan to require high school students to take four of their 30 courses online.

The government has asked OSSTF to take wage increases of one per cent a year, the target it has set for all public-sector workers, according to the union.

OSSTF has proposed a wage increase equal to the cost of living, currently around two per cent.

jmiller@postmedia.com

Twitter: @JacquieAMiller

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