Toronto, April 12, 2012 – Our member boards share a belief that continued stability in our schools and sustained growth in student success are deeply connected. Experience has taught us that sustained labour peace is a critical element in creating the conditions necessary for student success in Ontario schools. For these reasons, the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association www.opsba.org accepted the government’s invitation to come to the table to participate in provincial discussions.
We agree that in this economy, we have to find significant cost savings. At the same time, we must also strive for harmony where our students learn and our staff work. Collective bargaining has to lead to collective agreements which support student engagement, parent engagement, staff engagement, and safe and nurturing learning environments.
“We urge the provincial government and all our education partners to explore all available measures and find a way to move forward,” said Lori Lukinuk, Vice President of OPSBA. “If Ontario’s students are to continue to make significant progress and rank among the best in the world, there is no question that every effort to sustain and strengthen labour harmony must be pursued. This is a time to look to our long-term interests, to keep our focus on a strong, sustainable education system.”
We cannot emphasize sufficiently that the collective bargaining process must help improve the learning conditions for our students. We feel that the common purpose of all our collective efforts must be maximizing the opportunities for success of each and every student in our system and must be the fundamental basis of the contracts emerging from the process.
OPSBA is committed to working with our employees and the government to reach fair and equitable new contracts. The interests of our students must remain the first priority for all parties – there can be no disruption to their education. This is what parents expect of us and what students deserve.
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