Appeal Court confirms Bill 124 unconstitutional infringement of education workers’ rights

TORONTO, ON – The following is a statement from Karen Brown, President of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s ruling on Bill 124:

“In November 2022, the Ontario Court of Justice ruled Bill 124 infringed upon union members’ right to freedom of association under the Charter and struck it down as unconstitutional. Instead of accepting the Court’s decision, the Ford government pressed forward with a costly, taxpayer-funded appeal that was heard last June.

The ruling issued today by the Ontario Court of Appeal rightly confirms what we’ve known to be true since the unlawful legislation was introduced: Bill 124 is an unconstitutional attack on workers’ rights in this province. We are pleased that the Court has upheld democracy and restored the rights of public sector workers in Ontario.

Read more: Appeal Court confirms Bill 124 unconstitutional infringement of education workers’ rights
Comments Off on Appeal Court confirms Bill 124 unconstitutional infringement of education workers’ rights

Bill 124 win for education workers: Ford forced to pay, but education still shortchanged

TORONTO, ON — On January 16, 2024, OSSTF/FEESO and ETFO stood before an arbitrator to argue for a fair remedy to the Ford government’s unlawful Bill 124 wage suppression legislation affecting public sector workers. Today, Arbitrator William Kaplan issued his decision on a remedy, awarding members an additional 2.75 per cent compensation increase for 2021- 2022, for a total amount of 7.25 per cent for the 2019-2022 contract term. Compounded, the total percentage increase is 7.41, including the one per cent increases allowed under the unlawful Bill 124.

The arbitrated award comes 15 months after Bill 124 – which the government knew would cause serious staffing issues in public services – was declared unconstitutional by the Courts.

Read more: Bill 124 win for education workers: Ford forced to pay, but education still shortchanged
Comments Off on Bill 124 win for education workers: Ford forced to pay, but education still shortchanged

ETFO advocates for sustained focus on Black excellence throughout the year

TORONTO, ON – Beyond celebrating Black History Month in February, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) urges a year-long focus on Black excellence. ETFO also calls on individuals to actively challenge anti-Black racism as we work together to build a more just, inclusive society. This task starts with education.

Black History Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge and honour the contributions and accomplishments of Black Canadians while also addressing the ongoing issues that have adverse effects on this community.

Read more: ETFO advocates for sustained focus on Black excellence throughout the year
Comments Off on ETFO advocates for sustained focus on Black excellence throughout the year

ETFO and OSSTF/FEESO argue for fair Bill 124 remedy in front of arbitrator

Today, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO), along with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), stood before an arbitrator to argue for a fair remedy to the Ford government’s unconstitutional Bill 124.

“It’s been a day long coming,” stated OSSTF/FEESO President Karen Littlewood. “Our members have been waiting four long years to reclaim wages stolen by the Ford government under the unlawful Bill 124. Today, we had the opportunity to go before a neutral arbitrator to present our arguments for what would constitute a fair remedy for our members. Every public sector worker, including all teachers and education workers as well as the students, parents, and communities they serve have been negatively impacted by this disastrous legislation. It’s time to finally put an end to this unjust bill.”

Read more: ETFO and OSSTF/FEESO argue for fair Bill 124 remedy in front of arbitrator
Comments Off on ETFO and OSSTF/FEESO argue for fair Bill 124 remedy in front of arbitrator

ETFO teacher, occasional teacher members ratify central agreement

Toronto, ON – Teacher and occasional teacher members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) voted 90 per cent in favour of accepting the 2022-2026 Teacher/Occasional Teacher (T/OT) Central Agreement reached with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA) and the Ontario government. The term of the four year central agreement is from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2026. OPSBA ratification is required for the agreement to take effect; their vote is scheduled for next week. 

“While this round of bargaining was exceptionally lengthy and difficult, ETFO members stood firm in the face of cuts, pressed for improvements to working and learning conditions, and won,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “This agreement is proof that the legal bargaining process works when it’s allowed to unfold as intended. I want to thank members for their strength, resistance and persistence.” 

Read more: ETFO teacher, occasional teacher members ratify central agreement
Comments Off on ETFO teacher, occasional teacher members ratify central agreement

ETFO reaches tentative agreement at Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table

TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has reached a tentative central agreement for its 80,000 teacher and occasional teacher members with the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association and the Ontario government.

“After 14 months of central bargaining, we’re pleased to be able to bring forward a tentative agreement to our teacher and occasional teacher members that protects their collective agreement entitlements and also addresses key bargaining goals,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “This has been the longest round of central bargaining in ETFO’s history, but we persisted. We remained focused on getting government cuts off the table and on addressing members’ working conditions, which are students’ learning conditions.”

Details of the agreement will be shared with ETFO teacher and occasional teacher members on Thursday, November 23, after a meeting with their local presidents and chief negotiators. A ratification vote is being scheduled; details of the vote will be shared with members once they are confirmed.

Read more: ETFO reaches tentative agreement at Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table
Comments Off on ETFO reaches tentative agreement at Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table

ETFO responds to Ontario government’s fall economic statement

TORONTO, ON – Despite expected growing surpluses over the next few years, the Ford government continues to underfund public education in Ontario. The fall economic statement delivered today ignores the needs of students and educators, and is another missed opportunity to undo damaging cuts to public education.

“In its 2023 budget, the Ford government had the opportunity to strengthen public education in Ontario, but chose, instead, to make cuts to services that impact student success and well-being,” says Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Karen Brown. “And now, with its fall economic statement, we’re seeing the same refusal to prioritize public education. They must reverse the cuts and deliver the funding Ontario students deserve.”

Read more: ETFO responds to Ontario government’s fall economic statement
Comments Off on ETFO responds to Ontario government’s fall economic statement

ETFO members’ 95 per cent strike mandate sends resounding message to government to start bargaining seriously

TORONTO, ON – Today, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced that its teacher and occasional teacher members voted 95 per cent in favour of central strike action.

“This strong strike mandate sends a very clear message to the government,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “Our members have been working for over a year without a contract, and their patience has run out. We need the government to stop stalling and start negotiating seriously on our members’ key priorities, like providing more supports for students with special needs, acknowledging the staffing crisis in education, putting a fair compensation offer on the table, and addressing violence in schools.”

This strike mandate does not necessarily mean that ETFO members will be engaging in work-to-rule strike action or heading to picket lines at this time. Negotiations will continue at ETFO’s Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table.

Read more: ETFO members’ 95 per cent strike mandate sends resounding message to government to start bargaining seriously
Comments Off on ETFO members’ 95 per cent strike mandate sends resounding message to government to start bargaining seriously

ETFO responds to Premier Ford’s comments that put 2SLGBTQ+ students at risk

This past weekend, Premier Doug Ford made it clear that he has no idea what “school boards actually do” when he dismissed their law-abiding efforts to protect 2SLGBTQ+ students’ rights. In an attempt to deflect from the ongoing Greenbelt scandal, he made dangerous, inflammatory remarks that put students, educators, and others at risk of great harm.

In a perfect climate, all students go home to a safe and supportive environment, but we know this isn’t the case for all. Teachers and other education workers work every single day to ensure the safety of all students in schools across the province. Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) members work each day to ensure quality public education that may include resources that support 2SLGTBQ+ students and their families.

Read more: ETFO responds to Premier Ford’s comments that put 2SLGBTQ+ students at risk
Comments Off on ETFO responds to Premier Ford’s comments that put 2SLGBTQ+ students at risk

ETFO files for conciliation in effort to reach fair agreements

TORONTO, ON – Given the unacceptably slow pace of bargaining, earlier today the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) advised school board agency and government representatives that the Federation would be applying for conciliation with the Minister of Labour for its two central tables – teacher/occasional teacher and education worker.

“Over the past year, ETFO’s central bargaining team has attempted to resolve key issues to secure a fair deal for its teacher, occasional teacher, and education worker members. But after a full year of bargaining without sufficient progress and negotiations at a standstill, the Federation is filing for conciliation,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “Our members have been incredibly patient, but their patience has run out.”

Read more: ETFO files for conciliation in effort to reach fair agreements
Comments Off on ETFO files for conciliation in effort to reach fair agreements