The union of elementary teachers in Ontario is insisting Ontario’s Education Minister, Laurel Broten, to delay the implementation of new contracts until a new Liberal leader takes charge of the office. The president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, ETFO, Sam Hammond, is going to make the announcement on Friday morning, though the news has already hit the media that ETFO will promise to surrender any further plans of job action, hoping that a new party leader could resolve the labor deadlock
Mr. Hammond will mention in a news conference that elementary teachers will immediately stop all rotating walkout strikes, in case Broten agrees to postpone the deadline of imposing agreements from Dec. 31. He suggested that she shall wait until a new premier is in charge, in hopes that a new leader will give a “fresh look” to the deadline and attempt to reach a “respectful solution.” Mr. Hammond did not comment on any particular reaction in case the government, or specifically the education minister, declines the ETFO offer. The new leader after Premier Dalton McGuinty’s resignation will take charge at the end of January.
Teachers are explicitly unhappy with the Bill 115, which allows the government to impose contracts on teachers and control their capacity to strike. Even though Broten has the legal authority to obstruct all recent strikes and job actions, but if she chooses that path, it may create further conflicts in Ontario’s public education system. Union leaders have threatened to withdraw voluntary services, like coaching sports teams, supervising clubs and providing extra academic help to students for the length of the two-year government imposed contract.
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