A local school board is requesting a hearing with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to take a teachers union to task for allegedly condoning illegal job action.
The Upper Canada District School Board has joined forces with another Muskoka-area board in complaining that the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is counselling its members to refrain from supervising extra-curricular actitives.
The board is expected to rule on the request later this week in Toronto.
“We have gathered written evidence that we believe supports our position to the OLRB,” said Greg Pietersma, Upper Canada board chair. “The actions of the ETFO local chapter and provincial representatives are affecting students, classroom and school activities, as well as relations between staff members and are seriously undermining public confidence.”
Upper Canada has joined with Trillium Lakelands in an effort to turn the attention to student achievement by pointing out that ETFO’s counselling a withdrawal of extra-curricular activities interferes with the normal activities and school programming.
“Many of our elementary teachers want to participate in activities they have traditionally been involved in,” said Pietersma. “These activities have always been part of the overall school experience for all members of the school community including students and staff.”
The ETFO has indicated it has taken this action with the support of a majority of its members.
A bulletin was sent out to all union members last week to clarify their role as teachers, which includes ensuring students’ safety and teaching only during school hours.
Teachers are continuing to protest Bill 115, despite the fact that the government is repealing it. Teachers are upset, and contend the bill is undemocratic, and are also miffed that the province has imposed employment contracts on them.