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Strengthening Positive Labour Relations

Our Vision

OPSBA believes that teachers and education workers 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.

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.

Collective Bargaining: Background

Collective Bargaining Status Updates 

*as of January 15, 2020

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF on April 29, 2019.

On September 5,  the Ontario Labour Relations Board determined the matters to be bargained centrally.

On September 24, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof held a press conference to outline the union's bargaining briefs (one for teachers and another for education workers) that had not yet been tabled but would be tabled to the employer the week of September 30, 2019. This was considered a very unusual move in the tradition of collective bargaining and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act. 

On October 24, OSSTF requested a no-board report for OSSTF Teachers. The no-board report was issued on November 1.

On October 15, OSSTF announced it would begin holding strike votes on October 22,  across the province, with an aim of completing all votes by November 15. On November 18, the OSSTF announced the results of strike votes, with 95.5% of Teachers voting in favour of central strike action. On November 21, OSSTF announced that phase 1 of a work to rule would begin on November 26, for both Teachers and Education Workers. 

On October 18, OSSTF indicated they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

On November 28, OSSTF announced a province-wide one-day strike would occur on December 4, unless an agreement was reached before that date. A deal was not reached so all OSSTF Teachers and Education Workers participated in a one-day strike on that date. Follow-up one-day strikes were held in a rotating selection of school boards on December 11 and December 18. A one-day strike in eight English public and Catholic school boards, and schools in six French and French Catholic school boards, was called for January 8, 2020A one-day strike in nine English public school boards and two district school area boards, as well as some English Catholic, French public and French Catholic schools, was called for January 15. A one-day strike in seven English public school boards, as well as some English Catholic, French public and French Catholic school boards, has been called for January 21.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

OSSTF Education Workers

The Council of Trustees' Associations (CTA) received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF Education Workers on April 29, 2019. 

On September 5, 2019, the Ontario Labour Relations Board determined the matters to be bargained centrally.

On September 24, 2019, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof held a press conference to outline the union's bargaining briefs (one for teachers and another for education workers) that had not yet been tabled but would be tabled to the employer the week of September 30, 2019. This was considered a very unusual move in the tradition of collective bargaining and the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act.

On October 15, OSSTF announced it would begin holding strike votes on October 22,  across the province, with an aim of completing all votes by November 15. On November 18, the OSSTF announced the results of strike votes, with 95.5% of Teachers voting in favour of central strike action. On November 21, OSSTF announced that phase 1 of a work to rule would begin on November 26, for both Teachers and Education Workers. 

On October 18, OSSTF indicated they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

On November 28, OSSTF announced a province-wide one-day strike would occur on December 4, unless an agreement was reached before that date. A deal was not reached so all OSSTF Teachers and Education Workers participated in a one-day strike on that date. Follow-up one-day strikes were held in a rotating selection of school boards on December 11 and December 18. A one-day strike in eight English public and Catholic school boards, and schools in six French and French Catholic school boards, was called for January 8, 2020A one-day strike in nine English public school boards and two district school area boards, as well as some English Catholic, French public and French Catholic schools, was called for January 15. A one-day strike in seven English public school boards, as well as some English Catholic, French public and French Catholic school boards, has been called for January 21.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and meeting dates are scheduled.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from ETFO on June 3, 2019. 

On October 15, ETFO indicated that they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

On November 1, ETFO announced the results of its local strike votes, with 98% of members voting in favour of central strike action.

On November 4, ETFO requested a no-board report for ETFO Teachers and Education Workers. The no-board report was issued on November 8.

On November 14, ETFO announced that phase 1 of a work to rule would begin on November 26, for both Teachers and Education Workers. On December 6, ETFO announced that phase 2 of the work-to-rule campaign would begin on December 10. On January 9, 2020, ETFO announced that phase 3 of the work-to-rule campaign would begin on January 13, with ETFO members commencing a full withdrawal of services strike on a rotating basis beginning January 20. 

On January 15, ETFO announced a one-day strike would occur on January 20 in the York Region, Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton District School Boards.

OPSBA and the Crown have been negotiating with ETFO Teachers and Education Workers through the conciliator.

The bargaining process emains ongoing.

ETFO Education Workers

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from ETFO Education Workers on June 3, 2019. 

ETFO has determined that their locals will be holding meetings, which will include strike votes. 

On October 15, ETFO indicated that they intend to file for conciliation for both teachers and education workers. The appointment of a Ministry of Labour conciliator is not unusual in collective bargaining and provides the services of a third party to assist with the process.

On November 1, ETFO announced the results of its local strike votes, with 98% of members voting in favour of central strike action.

On November 4, ETFO requested a no-board report for ETFO Teachers and Education Workers. The no-board report was issued on November 8.

On November 14, ETFO announced that phase 1 of a work to rule would begin on November 26, for both Teachers and Education Workers. On December 6, ETFO announced that phase 2 of the work-to-rule campaign would begin on December 10. On January 9, 2020, ETFO announced that phase 3 of the work-to-rule campaign would begin on January 13, with ETFO members commencing a full withdrawal of services strike on a rotating basis beginning January 20

On January 15, ETFO announced a one-day strike would occur in the York Region, Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton District School Boards.

OPSBA and the Crown have been negotiating with ETFO Teachers and Education Workers through the conciliator.

The bargaining process remains ongoing.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from CUPE on May 3, 2019, and, following six days of bargaining, requested a conciliator on July 30. CUPE then requested a no-board report on September 5. That report was issued by the Ministry of Labour on September 13, 2019, meaning that CUPE was in a legal strike position as of September 30.

On September 25, the CTA and the Crown received CUPE's notice of job action effective Monday, September 30. They provided a description of phase 1 of the Work to Rule to the school boards and the Crown. On September 29, mediation among the CTA, the Crown and CUPE ended without an agreement. 

On October 2, CUPE announced that they would be escalating strike action to a full withdrawal of services on October 7. The bargaining process remained ongoing with meetings scheduled for the weekend of October 4 to 6, resulting in a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement, announced on the evening of October 6. 

On November 4, CUPE provided notice that they ratified central terms of the 2019-2022 collective agreement. All four education sectors have also reported to the Crown that they have ratified the central terms. The ratification process is now complete.

OPSBA Statement Regarding Ratification of Settlement with CUPE

Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)

The CTA received Notice to Bargain from EWAO on May 10, 2019. On September 11, EWAO, the CTA and the Crown concluded discussions regarding the scope of central bargaining, resulting in an agreement.

On December 10, the CTA and the provincial government announced that they had successfully negotiated a tentative settlement on central terms of a collective agreement with EWAO. All parties must still ratify the agreement in coming weeks.

Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW)

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from OCEW on June 24, 2019. 

On September 13, OCEW informed the CTA and the Crown that they would file for conciliation on September 16.

On November 15, OCEW announced the results of its local strike votes, with 96% of members voting in favour of central strike action.

The bargaining process remains ongoing and further meeting dates are set.


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.


Additional information
OPSBA Media Releases