Training union accuses Ford authorities of ‘fear-mongering’

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

On Monday, Training Minister Stephen Lecce laid out the federal government’s expectations for the upcoming faculty 12 months, insisting that college students have entry to common in-class classes, together with extracurricular actions.

Learn extra:

Ontario schooling minister desires extracurriculars supplied in September

“We’re signaling our clear intent to have these companies, these experiences restored, and to assist kids, and we all know that educators care deeply about their children, they are going to do the appropriate factor and be sure that these experiences are put again for youths.”

Whereas the feedback got here after two years of government-mandated faculty closures — largely as a result of COVID-19 — Lecce appeared to direct his statements to Ontario’s schooling unions, that are at first phases of contract negotiations with the province.

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The minister’s feedback, nonetheless, have been met with a pointy rebuke from the Elementary Lecturers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which accused Lecce of making an attempt to “create a disaster the place none exists.”

“His targets appear to be agitation and division,” ETFO president Karen Brown stated in a press release. “Minister Lecce is needlessly engaged in fear-mongering.”

Brown stated the ETFO’s 83,000 members — which incorporates public faculty elementary academics — “will probably be in faculties” once they reopen in September regardless of union contracts expiring on Aug. 31.

Learn extra:

Ontario authorities, schooling union start contract negotiations

Laura Walton, who represents the Ontario College Board Council of Unions, informed International Information this week it is “untimely” for the minister to lift any considerations about faculty closures as a result of the contract talks are of their infancy.

In line with the province’s personal legal guidelines governing collective bargaining, to ensure that a strike to happen, unions and the employer have to fulfill sure thresholds.

As soon as the contract expires and negotiations break down, either side could be required to fulfill with a Ministry of Labor conciliation officer and obtain a “no-board” report earlier than a union is legally allowed to strike 17 days later.

Unions are additionally legally required to carry a strike vote and might solely stage a walkout if a majority of members vote in favor of job motion.

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The province’s schooling unions level out that none of those necessities have been met, that means there may be little to no threat of college disruptions in September.

“You’ll be able to’t even name for a strike vote greater than 30 days earlier than the expiration of a collective bargaining settlement and we would not name for a strike vote earlier than of us are again at work,” Walton stated.

“We will probably be again.”

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