The three school boards have taken this issue of these local
strike's legality to the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).
The school boards sought a declaration that the local strikes in
Durham, Peel, and Sudbury violate the new bargaining system as they are
striking over provincially negotiated issues. The Ontario Secondary
School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) rejected this argument on
the basis that the law does not specifically dictate the scope of issues which can be the subject
of strike activity on a local level.
The highly anticipated decision was released on May 26, 2015 after
taking longer than expected due to the significant
implications it will have on the bargaining process for school
boards and teachers' unions across the province. In the
decision, OLRB Chair Bernard Fishbein granted a declaration in
favour of the school boards proclaiming the local strikes in
contravention of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, and
has ordered the secondary school teachers to cease and desist their
unlawful strike for a two week moratorium. Although the order has
forced teachers back into the classroom, local strikes are
permitted to resume after the expiry of the two week order.
"Stay tuned" as the situation continues to develop.
This article was written with the assistance of Nicole
Buchanan, summer student.
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