Coaching union accuses Ford authorities of ‘fear-mongering’

The union representing Ontario’s elementary teachers is accusing the provincial authorities of “fear-mongering” as an early disagreement breaks out between the Ford authorities and education unions.

On Monday, Coaching Minister Stephen Lecce laid out the federal authorities’s expectations for the upcoming school 12 months, insisting that school college students have entry to frequent in-class lessons, along with extracurricular actions.

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“We’re signaling our clear intent to have these firms, these experiences restored, and to help children, and everyone knows that educators care deeply about their kids, they’ll do the suitable issue and make certain that these experiences are put once more for teens.”

Whereas the suggestions obtained right here after two years of government-mandated school closures — largely because of COVID-19 — Lecce appeared to direct his statements to Ontario’s education unions, which might be at first phases of contract negotiations with the province.

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The minister’s suggestions, nonetheless, have been met with a sharp rebuke from the Elementary Lecturers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which accused Lecce of attempting to “create a catastrophe the place none exists.”

“His targets seem like agitation and division,” ETFO president Karen Brown said in a press launch. “Minister Lecce is needlessly engaged in fear-mongering.”

Brown said the ETFO’s 83,000 members — which contains public school elementary teachers — “will in all probability be in schools” as soon as they reopen in September no matter union contracts expiring on Aug. 31.

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Laura Walton, who represents the Ontario Faculty Board Council of Unions, knowledgeable Worldwide Data this week it’s “premature” for the minister to elevate any issues about school closures because of the contract talks are of their infancy.

Consistent with the province’s private authorized pointers governing collective bargaining, to make sure that a strike to occur, unions and the employer have to meet positive thresholds.

As quickly because the contract expires and negotiations break down, both aspect may very well be required to meet with a Ministry of Labor conciliation officer and acquire a “no-board” report sooner than a union is legally allowed to strike 17 days later.

Unions are moreover legally required to hold a strike vote and may solely stage a walkout if a majority of members vote in favor of job movement.

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The province’s education unions stage out that none of these requirements have been met, which means there could also be little to no risk of faculty disruptions in September.

“You can’t even identify for a strike vote larger than 30 days sooner than the expiration of a collective bargaining settlement and we’d not identify for a strike vote sooner than of us are once more at work,” Walton said.

“We are going to in all probability be once more.”

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