Educational Support Staff (ESS) and Early Childhood Educators (ECE) of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) District 2 - Algoma have voted in favour of a strike mandate at a meeting held yesterday.
The contracts between OSSTF/FEESO and the school board expired on August 31st, and the taking of a strike vote is a normal part of the legal process recognized by the Ontario Labour Relations Act. The ECE bargaining unit voted 77% in favour of a strike mandate, while the ESS bargaining unit voted 78% in favour.
“The ESS and ECE members in Algoma want a collective agreement that is negotiated in good faith,” said OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Treasurer Earl Burt. “Through these votes members have shown strong opposition to the passage of the McGuinty-Hudak Bill 115 and the very unfair terms that it attempts to impose on educational workers. This vote is not
about wanting a strike. These members want a fair agreement with their local school board, not an imposed contract from Toronto. ”
The Presidents of the OSSTF Educational Support Staff and Early Childhood Educators both agreed that they want to find a local solution through the negotiations process with the
Algoma District School Board, and hope that the McGuinty Government will not intrude on their rights under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.