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Labour Relations

Our Vision

OPSBA believes that teachers and support staff deeply influence a positive and productive learning environment for students and are supported in this role through the peace and stability engendered by successfully negotiated collective agreements.

The Focus of Our Advocacy

  • Continue leadership as a Designated Bargaining Agent in implementation of the central agreements bargained under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act
  • Provide leadership in the discussions of central terms and conditions that respects the contributions of principals and vice-principals and their role in improving student achievement and well-being
  • Ensure government initiatives (legislation/policy) are assessed from the labour relations/collective bargaining perspective on behalf of OPSBA member boards
  • Provide service and support to all OPSBA member boards in ongoing labour relations/collective bargaining services
  • Facilitate information and learning exchange through the OPSBA Board of Directors, Labour Relations Symposium, Senior Negotiators Committee and the Public Council of Ontario Directors of Education
  • Track board experience with contract implementation for forward planning
  • Continue development of the Provincial Portal and strategies to enhance its use
  • Maintain relationships with key education partners
  • Ensure that OPSBA maintains its presence as an independent and separately distinct party during labour negotiations 
  • Monitor the work of the Provincial Health and Safety Working Group, which is addressing the issue of violence in classrooms as it affects the safety, health and well-being of all employees and ensure that the work is provided to the Education Program Work Team for consideration

It is OPSBA's goal to negotiate fair and equitable collective agreements through the collective bargaining process. Our priority continues to be the improvement of student achievement and well-being. That remains the focus of our bargaining.

The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, or central and local bargaining as it is often referred to. This means issues such as salary, benefits, and paid leaves are negotiated on a province-wide basis at a central table. Participants at the central level include the government and trustees' associations as co-management partners, bargaining with teachers' federations and education worker unions.

Before bargaining commences, the parties agree to which items will be negotiated centrally. All other issues are then negotiated locally. The parties to local bargaining are individual school boards and their respective local bargaining units.

Negotiations Updates

For more information about any of the central collective agreements mentioned below, please visit the Ministry of Education's website.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)

OPSBA ratified the tentative settlement reached with OSSTF Teachers on September 18, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties.

The central collective agreement was extended in April 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.

This was the first central settlement under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2015. Going into this round of bargaining OPSBA engaged in an inclusive process to determine priorities. This lengthy process ensured the Association had broad input from all of our school board stakeholder groups.

OPSBA News Release: OPSBA Ratifies Tentative Settlement Reached With OSSTF Teachers

OSSTF Education Workers

The Council of Trustee Associations and the Crown reached a tentative agreement with OSSTF Education Workers on November 27, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties.

The central collective agreement was extended in April 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

OPSBA ratified the tentative settlement reached with ETFO Teachers on November 2, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties.

The central collective agreement was extended in March 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.

The ETFO agreement was the second central settlement achieved by OPSBA under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

OPSBA News Release: OPSBA Ratifies Tentative Settlement Reached with ETFO Teachers

OPSBA News Release: OPSBA Reaches Tentative Agreement with ETFO at the Central Bargaining Table

ETFO Education Workers

The Council of Trustee Associations and the Crown reached a tentative agreement with ETFO Education Workers on November 27, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties.

The central collective agreement was extended in March 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

On November 2, 2015, OPSBA announced that the Council of Trustees' Associations and the provincial government successfully negotiated a settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) education workers.

Following ratification by all parties, the central collective agreement was extended on Feb. 15, 2017, for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019.

OPSBA News Release: Tentative Agreement Reached between Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA), CUPE and the Provincial Government

Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)

The Council of Trustee Associations and the Crown reached a tentative agreement with EWAO on November 21, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties.

The central collective agreement was extended in March 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.

Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW)

The Council of Trustee Associations and the Crown reached a tentative agreement with OCEW on December 2, 2015. The central collective agreement was ratified by all parties. 

The central collective agreement was extended in March 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.


Final Report of the Hiring Practices - Regulation 274 Committee

As part of the Memorandum of Settlement of the 2014-2017 Central Agreement signed by ETFO, the Ministry of Education and the Ontario Public School Boards' Association, OPSBA agreed to Letter of Agreement (LOA) #2 Regulation 274 – Hiring Practices. In accordance with that Letter of Agreement, a committee was created to meet and further discuss Regulation 274 – Hiring Practices. Specifically "The Committee shall address the following issues, including but not limited to:

  • The size of the [long term occasional] LTO list
  • The number of interview cycles and
  • The interview process."

On Nov. 10, 2016, the Ministry of Education issued a report that documents those discussions. 


School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA) Review 

OPSBA, along with the three other school board/trustee associations, gave a joint submission to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act, 2017, on March 8, 2017. This followed a letter to Minister Mitzie Hunter on Feb. 10, 2017, outlining school board concerns with respect to a number of issues related to the SBCBA. 

Stakeholder Consultation Summary

Following the conclusion of the first round of bargaining under the SBCBA, the government consulted with its partners in order to review the Act to see if there were improvements that could be made to the process. On July 4, 2016, the Minister of Education publicly released the summary of those consultations.


Labour Relations Board rules local strikes illegal

On May 26, 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled that local secondary teachers' strikes, directed by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), in DurhamPeel and Rainbow District School Boards were in contravention of the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act, 2014. As a result of OLRB Chair Bernard Fishbein's precedent-setting ruling, secondary students and teachers returned to schools in the three districts on May 27, 2015.

Peel DSB News Release: Ontario Labour Relations Board ruling ends secondary teachers' strike, Peel secondary schools reopen to students, staff Wednesday, May 27

OLRB Application News Releases

Peel board to file Ontario Labour Relations Board application to declare local secondary teachers' strike unlawful

DDSB to file Ontario Labour Relations Board Application with Peel and Rainbow DSB's over Illegal Teachers' Strike

Rainbow DSB filing application with Ontario Labour Relations Board to end strike


Government Passes Back-to-work Legislation

Following the Education Relation Commission's ruling that the school year was in jeopardy in Durham, Rainbow and Peel DSBs, the government tabled back-to-work legislation through Bill 103, Protecting the School Year Act, on May 25, 2015, to return secondary students to classrooms in Durham, Peel and Rainbow District School Boards as soon as possible. The Act passed at second and third reading with Liberal and PC support (Ayes 63: Nays) on May 28. It was also given Royal Assent that day. Bill 103 ensured teachers in the Durham, Peel and Rainbow DSBs remained in the classroom until the end of the school year in June.

Click here to read Bill 103, Protecting the School Year Act, 2015

 


Additional information

A Primer on Collective Bargaining under Bill 122 from the Toronto Star

OPSBA Media Releases