OSSTF/FEESO’s bargaining proposals, which have been available to members and to the public since September 24, are focused on creating and sustaining the best possible student learning environment through, among other measures, protection for reasonable class sizes and access to course options, and a collaborative, evidence-based approach to the question of mandatory e-learning.
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, OPSBA 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, nor any commitment to student achievement. It makes no proposals to address the problems of larger classes and the reduced course options available to students, or the number of adults available in schools to provide learning support to students. Furthermore, the OPSBA/Crown brief contains rationale that is full of 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 OPSBA/Crown Brief as well as an examination of the management side’s misinformation can be found at the links below.