83,000 ETFO members participate in central strike votes from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17
September 18, 2023
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s (ETFO) 83,000 members will participate in central strike votes from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17, 2023. Voting will take place at in-person member-only meetings across the province.
“ETFO’s goal with central strike vote meetings is to share information with members that clearly articulates where the Ford government has fallen short on responding to ETFO’s bargaining priorities,” says ETFO President Karen Brown. “Given the unacceptably slow pace of bargaining and the ongoing, daily challenges our members face, we expect a strong strike mandate coming out of our central strike vote.”
If ETFO members vote in favour of supporting provincial strike action, this does not necessarily mean ETFO members will be heading to picket lines. Adds Brown, “A strong strike vote result will help ETFO communicate to the Ford government that they must get serious about bargaining. While we are now working with a conciliator to help us explore all possible options in reaching agreements that are fair for ETFO members, central strike votes are another tool we can use to help us achieve the best working conditions and learning conditions possible.”
Since filing for conciliation, ETFO has seen some movement on key issues at both its Education Worker Central Table and Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table, but more progress needs to be made. Notes Brown, “There is never a guarantee of gains during bargaining, but the best chance of getting government cuts off the table and getting the improvements ETFO members and students need is to give the legal bargaining process a chance. That includes participating in the legal steps of the collective bargaining process, like taking strike votes and conciliation.”
Bargaining is continuing centrally throughout the voting process. Details about ETFO collective bargaining, bargaining dates, and a calendar of central strike votes are available at etfocb.ca. Here you will also find ETFO’s Collective Bargaining Process Chart, which outlines the legal framework within which central and local bargaining occurs under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.
ETFO represents approximately 83,000 members, including public elementary teachers, occasional teachers, designated early childhood educators, education support personnel, and professional support personnel. Visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca.