Labour Relations Update - February 27, 2020

School Closures – Friday, February 28

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) announced it intends to hold another one-day strike in select school boards, including the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB), on Friday, February 28, unless an agreement is reached.

All OCDSB elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students on Friday, February 28th.

The closure will include our regular school day activities, Co-op, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP), dual credit courses and home instruction as well as extra-curricular activities, field trips, clubs and testing activities planned for February 28th.

Extended Day Programs operated by the OCDSB will also be cancelled. Parents are asked to confirm with third-party providers for details. All community use of school permits for February 28th will be cancelled.

The OSSTF represents secondary teachers and occasional teachers, and support staff in elementary and secondary schools at the OCDSB. Without these staff at work, the OCDSB cannot provide adequate supervision of all students; ensure proper resources and supports for students with special needs; or maintain custodial and maintenance services.

ETFO Phase 6 sanctions

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has announced it will not hold full-day strikes this week or next. If agreements are not reached by Friday, March 6, it will commence further actions effective March 9.

However, ETFO has put in place new work sanctions as part of its “Phase 6 Strike Protocol”.

Among measures included, effective Wednesday, February 26, 2020, ETFO members will not cover absent teachers, accept students from other classes due to an absent teacher, or accept any modification to their schedules to cover for absent teachers.

Since schools often rely on teachers in the building to cover behind absent teacher until an occasional teacher can be hired, the impact of this disruption is unpredictable.  Staff will be carefully monitoring the situation over the next few days and taking steps to ensure additional staff members are available for coverage in the event of a teacher absence.  This may include enlisting additional support, such as retired administrators and central administration staff, to assist schools if needed.

Our priority focus in contingency planning is the safety of students.

Parents should be prepared for future strike actions

As the potential for new labour actions continues, parents are reminded to have contingency plans in place for child care.

Parents should also monitor email, media, and the district and school websites for updates. Further information can also be found on the OCDSB Labour Negotiations webpage.

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