Teacher protest last year.
The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) is now expected to release its decision next week about an application from the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) and Trillium Lakelands District School Board regarding whether the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) was engaging in an activity that constitutes an unlawful strike.
The OLRB is not expected to issue a written ruling on the matter until the middle of next week, said UCDSB Chair Greg Pietersma. The school boards are challenging a directive from ETFO that effectively ordered teachers not to volunteer for extracurricular and co-curricular activities in our schools. The school board will publicly release the written decision once it is received.
“This application has always been about restoring teachers’ ability to make the choice to volunteer or not volunteer,” said Pietersma.
UCDSB Director David Thomas said the application was necessary to restore confidence in the public education system and the opportunities that sports, the arts, after-school academic help, and other activities provide to our students.
“We want to restore order in our schools so that our students, staff and community can have confidence in their public education system,” added Thomas.
Pietersma said that this decision is needed to bring clarity to this situation that was neither created by the Board or the federation.
“This application was caused by the provincial government and not the teachers’ unions,” said Pietersma. “The provincial government has had ample opportunity to make things right but has chosen not to do so.
“We hope going forward that all parties will learn from this unfortunate situation.”