Ontario elementary teachers put rotating strikes on hold

Description: The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will be meeting again with the provincial government, pulling back from a threat of job action starting in October.

Source: The Toronto Star

Date: 09/29/2015

Link: http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2015/09/29/elementary-teachers-union-government-to-resume-bargaining.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Consult your text: what is a mediator? At what stage in the collective bargaining process does a mediator become involved?
  • Again, consult your text: what is an unfair labour practice?
  • What is the basis of the elementary school teachers’ unfair labour practice complaint?
  • Why did talks stall in mid-September?
  • What are rotating strikes? In what circumstances would a union prefer rotating strikes to a total walkout?

Ontario government, high school teachers reach tentative agreement

Description: Ontario high school teachers have a new tentative agreement with the provincial government, while public elementary school teachers plan to increase job action.

Source: The National Post

Date: 08/20/2015

Link: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/ontario-secondary-school-teachers-federation-reaches-tentative-contract-deal-with-province

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • According to the Toronto Star story, what pay raise did the Ontario secondary school teachers receive in this tentative agreement?
  • What else did they receive?
  • How long have Ontario teachers been without contracts?
  • The story says this deal does not guarantee labour peace in Ontario schools this fall. Why?
  • How do these talks differ from previous negotiations with Ontario teachers?

Ontario can’t afford public sector increases, Wynne says

Description: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province doesn’t have the money for public sector wage and benefit increases.

Source: The Ottawa Sun

Date: 12/27/2014

Link: http://www.ottawasun.com/2014/12/27/wynne-to-unions-no-money-for-wage-hikes

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has taken a strike vote. Consult your text: What is the significance of this move?
  • Does a strike vote mean a union is likely to take job action? Discuss.
  • Follow the Related Links above. What is the OPSEU’s response to Wynne’s statement?
  • Whom do you think the public would support on this issue?
  • If you were the leader of the OPSEU or the Teachers’ Federation, what would be your strategy dealing with the government?

BC teachers back at work

Description: After a long and bitter dispute, the B.C. government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation have reached a six-year contract with the help of mediator Vince Ready.

Source: The Vancouver Sun

Date: 09/20/2014

Link: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Vaughn+Palmer+Remarkably+clean+ending+bitter+dispute/10219679/story.html

Related links:


Questions for discussion:

  • What did the BCTF give up to get this agreement?
  • What did the government give up to get this agreement?
  • Why does Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer describe the settlement as a “remarkably clean ending to bitter dispute”?
  • What were the key issues in this dispute?
  • Palmer says: “when parties don’t trust each other, it takes time to recognize which proposals are non-starters and move into each other’s zone of settlement.” Why don’t these parties trust each other?

Alberta premier angers former labour allies

Description: The teachers, nurses and public sector workers who supported Alberta Premier Alison Redford in last year’s election are unhappy with her latest cost-cutting moves.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 02/26/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/redford-accused-of-picking-a-fight-with-labour/article9103341/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why is labour angry at the Redford government?
  • Why is the government making cuts now?
  • What is the state of negotiations between the government and teachers?
  • Summarize the positions of the government and the teachers.
  • Which side do you think makes the most persuasive arguments? Why?

Ottawa-area school board becoming impatient

Description: The Upper Canada District School Board says it’s worried about the length of time the Ontario Labour Relations Board is taking to decide on an application for a cease-and-desist order.

Source: The Ottawa Citizen

Date: 02/22/2013

Link: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/School+board+still+waiting+labour+board+decision/8005020/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What actions does the school board want the OLRB to halt?
  • What did the school board argue before the OLRB?
  • Review the related links above. What was the teachers’ argument?
  • Do you think the teachers’ activities fit the definition of a strike? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think it has taken so long to reach a decision?

B.C. teachers reject premier’s call for 10-year contract

Description: The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants no part of a government proposal that would include a 10-year collective agreement.

Source: CBC

Date: 01/24/2013

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/24/bc-teachers-plan.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What would the teachers gain under the government proposal?
  • What would the teachers lose?
  • Ten-year collective agreements are extremely rare. Why do you think that is?
  • Who do you think would benefit the most from this proposal? Why?
  • B.C. voters go to the polls May 14 and the Clark government is well back in the opinion polls. How do you think that affects the contents of this proposal and the teachers’ response?

LRB declares teachers’ protest unlawful

Description: The Ontario Labour Relations Board has declared a planned one-day walkout by elementary school teachers illegal.

Source: CTV

Date: 01/11/2013

Link: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/etfo-osstf-cancel-planned-walkouts-1.1109787

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Who brought the application to the Ontario LRB?
  • What did the Elementary Teachers’ Federation intend to do?
  • Summarize the arguments made by the two sides.
  • What reasons did the board give for its decision?
  • Prof. David Doorey asks: “Do you think the definition of ‘strikes’ should include a protest against a government’s public policies?” What do you think? Why?

Ontario government imposes contracts on teachers

Description: The Ontario government has imposed contracts on elementary and secondary school teachers, freezing pay and reducing sick days.

Source: The Globe and Mail

Date: 01/03/2013

Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/ontario-teachers-imposed-contract-ensures-continued-discord-unions-say/article6932573/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What are the main features of the contracts imposed by the Ontario government?
  • What reason does the government give for taking this action?
  • What is the teachers’ response?
  • Summarize the arguments made by Andrew Coyne and Thomas Walkom.
  • Which arguments do you find to be the most persuasive? Why?

York Region elementary teachers poised for job action

Description: Elementary school teachers in Ontario’s York Region appear ready to take job action.

Source: CBC

Date: 11/18/2012

Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/11/18/toronto-york-region-elementary-teachers-strike-action.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is an “escalating withdrawal of administrative services”?
  • How does that differ from an all-out strike?
  • What are the issues in this dispute?
  • Consult the related links above: What happens on Dec. 31?
  • What effect do you think that will have on this dispute?



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