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Labour Negotiations - 24 September, 2019

Across Ontario, school districts are engaged in collective bargaining with employee groups.  While negotiations are underway, all Ottawa-Carleton District School Board schools are currently open and there is no loss of service taking place.

Background:

Collective agreements for all employee groups in the Ontario education sector, except for principals and vice principals, expired on August 31, 2019.

At the OCDSB, employees are represented by two unions across nine bargaining units: 

  • The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO) represents elementary teachers and occasional teachers
  • The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation(OSSTF) represents secondary teachers, secondary occasional teachers, support staff, custodial and maintenance staff, educational assistants, early childhood educators and professional support staff.

Will actions taken by other unions, such as CUPE, affect OCDSB schools?

No. There are other unions in Ontario (for example, CUPE) but they do not have bargaining units at the OCDSB and their actions will not affect OCDSB schools.

How do negotiations work?

Collective bargaining is governed by the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014 (SBCBA) which establishes a two-tiered bargaining process: 

Local negotiations are conducted between the OCDSB and the unions listed above.

Central negotiations are done by the provincial representatives of the employee (unions) and the employer (the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association represents the OCDSB). The government, through the Ministry of Education, is also required to participate. 

Decisions about which items are negotiated locally or centrally is determined by a central table. Those items not considered “central” will then be handled at a local level. The OCDSB and local unions will negotiate these items through the steps of the collective bargaining process.

What does the Board hope to achieve through labour negotiations?

The OCDSB values all of our employees and remains committed to negotiating in good faith in order to reach fair and fully-funded collective agreements which support student learning and well-being. 

What impact will this have on schools?

While negotiations are underway, all OCDSB schools are open with no changes to service. We are hopeful we will be able to work with our unions to come to an agreement.

What does it mean when a union takes a strike vote?

A strike vote is a step in the labour relations process.  A strike vote is a vote of the union membership which authorizes their union to take strike action which could be a full or partial withdrawal of service.  Just because a union has taken a strike vote does not mean strike action is imminent or even permissible.  

How will the community be informed?

As in any labour negotiations, there is always potential for disruptions to service delivery.  We will continue to keep the community informed as we move through this process. Information will be available on websites, by email, through social media and media. Should you have any urgent questions, please contact your principal.

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