May 26, 2015

Ontario Labour Relations Board ruling ends secondary teachers’ strike, Peel secondary schools reopen to students, staff Wednesday, May 27

Today, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that local secondary teachers' strikes, directed by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), in Durham, Peel and Rainbow district school boards are in contravention of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014. As a result of OLRB Chair Bernard Fishbein's precedent-setting ruling, secondary students and teachers will return to schools Wednesday, May 27.

"We're pleased that theOLRB's ruling​ supports what we've believed all along—that provincial OSSTF began an unlawful strike in Peel to put pressure on provincial negotiations," notes Janet McDougald, chair of the Peel District School Board. "But we're even more pleased that the ruling returns our 42,000 secondary students to their classrooms, where we know they will be supported in their learning. We're confident that our dedicated Peel teachers will return to their classrooms and deliver the quality education they always have. Our students deserve nothing less.

Adds McDougald, "The order is effective immediately, and though we know the  lateness of the receipt of the decision makes this complex, we are committed to being open for school tomorrow. Students and staff should prepare to be in secondary schools Wednesday, May 27. We know that with this little notice it won't be a perfect return to school tomorrow, but our incredible staff will make sure it is the best possible one for our students".  

"Every day, we work hard to build confidence in public education, to build trust with our students, families and community members. The conflict and confusion created by the new two-tiered provincial bargaining structure has undermined this work. As a board, we'll continue to bargain local matters with all our unions and federations, and hope that central table negotiations progress and move all school boards across Ontario closer to achieving fair, local agreements. To achieve this—to end this divisive situation in our schools—we must work together, locally and provincially."

Labour updates on secondary and elementary job action are available at www.peelschools.org/labour.

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Media contact: Janet McDougald, Chair of the Board, [email protected], 905-278-1402

Reference: Brian Woodland, Director of Communications & Community Relations Support Services, [email protected], 647-224-0029

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