Stephen Lecce. Image credit Twitter handle of Stephen Lecce
#Ontario; #OntarioEducation; #BindingArbitration
Toronto/CMEDIA: Just days after Ontario reached a tentative deal with Ontario’s secondary school teachers’ union, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Monday morning that both sides continue bargaining until Oct. 27, at which point they would enter a binding arbitration to resolve any remaining issues.
Lecce reportedly said on Friday that this process would keep students in class ending the threat of both provincial and locall strikes .
“I am very pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative four-year agreement with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) on a process that, if ratified by the union’s members, will keep students in class where they belong…The tentative agreement provides for bargaining to continue without the threat of strikes. If a collective agreement cannot be reached by October 27, 2023, the parties will enter binding interest arbitration to resolve any outstanding issues,” Lecce has said in a news release.
“We will continue to bargain, but this proposal…that we are now bringing…at the bargaining table by bringing in a third party arbitrator to seek a fair and just resolution.,”Karen Littlewood, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).
In a joint statement Friday, the unions for elementary, Catholic and French teachers said that entering into binding arbitration at this juncture would not guarantee key issues brought to the respective bargaining tables would not be addressed.
An internal vote on the proposal will take place through September, said the union.