OSSTF/FEESO’s Response to Government Refusal

Your rejection of our offer to utilize the services of a private mediator and postpone this
week’s strike makes us further doubt the Crown’s commitment to free collective
bargaining.

As you know, our proposal simply requested that the starting point for negotiations be
the status quo that existed prior to the expiration of our collective agreements. This is
standard for collective bargaining, and would allow the parties to negotiate free of the
thus-far insurmountable obstacles created by the Crown’s unpopular and destabilizing
legislative threats on the issues of class-size, e-learning and compensation.

The Minister has repeatedly asserted that the Crown is listening to the public and
parents and seeks predictability. Given the recent disclosures that the public is
manifestly against degrading the quality of public education through the imposition of
higher class sizes or embarking on an untested and unproven e-learning component,
we believe our proposal provides the basis for all parties to negotiate in normative
conditions that reflect the Minister’s public statements concerning the Crown’s interests
and priorities.

We therefore urge the Crown to respect the views of Ontarians and reconsider our
proposal to engage in negotiations based on the status quo and free of any unilaterally
imposed legislative constraints.

While we are satisfied with the expertise of the mediator who was mutually agreed to
and has been working with us since November 19, 2019, if the management team
wishes to request an additional or alternative mediator from the many qualified
mediators within the Ministry of Labour mediators, OSSTF/FEESO would not object to
such a request.

We will await your response.