OSSTF/FEESO’s bargaining proposals for Support Staff are focused on creating the best possible student learning environment, primarily through measures that would ensure adequate numbers of support staff and proper levels of assistance in our schools, especially for the most vulnerable students.
In the first meeting since the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled on the scope of central bargaining, and therefore the first meeting at which the parties exchanged bargaining positions, the Council of Trustees’ Associations (CTA) and the Crown presented the management team’s bargaining brief.
While OSSTF/FEESO is seeking only inflationary protections for compensation and benefits in order to keep talks focused on the quality of the learning environment, the management team’s brief focuses on removing funding from the system at the expense of students and our members. They present this position despite the clear conclusions from the Conference Board of Canada research stating that each dollar taken from public education costs the Ontario economy $1.30.
The brief shows no consideration whatsoever for the quality of the learning environment. It makes no proposals to address the problem of the ever-decreasing number of adults available in schools providing provide much-needed support for our most vulnerable students. Furthermore, the CTA/Crown brief contains rationale that is rife with misinformation, and politicizes the bargaining process. Bringing political rhetoric to the table is not helpful to reaching resolution on the issues under discussion. This represents a major step backwards in the bargaining process.
The full CTA/Crown Brief as well as an examination of the management side’s misinformation can be found at the links below.