Another Teacher’s Union Contract Headed for Mediation
Saturday, September, 6, 2014
The contract negotiation between the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the Simcoe District School Board will join the growing list of teacher contracts around the world headed to third party mediation for resolution. The negotiations began in the spring, when the school board announced that all 75 teaching jobs in the school district would be “posted” - essentially meaning that the current holders of those positions would have to re-apply for their own jobs.
The OSSTF filed a grievance in response. The school board has stressed that it is not seeking to fire teachers, and that everyone will have a job at the end of the day – but perhaps not in the same locality. The teacher’s union has claimed this action has made it nearly impossible for teachers to plan their school year due to the uncertainty of their position. The School board countered that if they had been allowed to proceed with the job posting process, it would have been completed with plenty of time for preparation.
The lack of language covering re-applying for positions in the current collective bargaining agreement forced both sides into negotiations over the matter. The school board has indicated that it is willing to engage in mediation over the matter in order to settle it as quickly as possible.
If the mediation cannot resolve the impasse, an arbitration hearing is scheduled to commence in October, leaving both sides with mere weeks to come to a mutually agreeable solution.