Toronto, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is filing a complaint today with the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) seeking a ruling against the government’s revocation of Regulation 274.
“We believe that the government’s unilateral move to revoke Regulation 274 constitutes an unfair labour practice,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond.
“As long as the 2014-2017 teacher/occasional teacher agreement and 2017-2019 extension agreement, which both include Regulation 274, remain in force, the employer cannot change the terms and conditions of employment. Many of our teacher and occasional teacher locals have yet to negotiate a new local agreement, therefore they are still covered by the terms of their existing agreements. By revoking the Regulation, the government is unilaterally altering the terms of the central agreement in locals who are in the midst of local bargaining.”
Regulation 274 was a strong starting point to introduce fairness and transparency in hiring processes, rather than leaving it up to individual principals with the hope they would make the right choices.
“The government’s claim that it revoked the Regulation in the interest of equity and diversity hiring holds little credibility. By defunding public education and by failing to plan and appropriately fund a safe return to schools, this government has shown a complete disregard for equity. Its actions have deepened already existing gaps in our public education system, particularly among marginalized communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” added Hammond.
“At a time when the government should be focused on the safety of students and staff, they are reverting to this tactic to divert attention away from the crisis they have created with their chaotic and flawed school reopening plan.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at BuildingBetterSchools.ca.