OSSTF met with representatives from OPSBA and the Crown on November 14. Unfortunately, it was another unproductive day.
During our previous day of bargaining, OSSTF requested financial information in order to facilitate conversations regarding potential savings within Ontario’s education system. These areas of discussion included:
- Ministry of Education Initiatives and Staffing Levels
- Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) Costs
- Opportunities to find efficiencies in the grievance arbitration process
- Financial savings through short term voluntary unpaid leaves
- Sick Leave efficiency pilot and associated savings
Rather than moving discussions forward in a productive manner, they chose to format OSSTF’s discussion topics into editorialized comments. Within this written response, they further speculated as to what OSSTF would propose if such talks were to occur. This action only works to erode the productive exchange of ideas. Furthermore, the management team, who provided no financial information with which to facilitate meaningful discourse, dismissed these topics.
OSSTF remains disappointed and unclear as to how this lack of transparency and communication will lead to solutions.
There was also a cursory conversation about sick leave, but no progress was made.
OSSTF would have been in a legal strike position on November 18 if we had served the five (5) day notice on November 13. However, OSSTF has chosen to concentrate on working to get a collective agreement at the bargaining table. The complete lack of progress remains very disappointing and frustrating. We remain dismayed that the management team seems determined to frustrate the bargaining process to the point of conflict.
Strike vote results will be released during the afternoon of Monday, November 18.
Future bargaining dates are scheduled for November 18, 19 (Teacher/Occasional Teacher), 20 and 21 (Education Worker).