An Open Letter from Catholic Teachers to Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Stephen Lecce
Premier Ford and Minister Lecce:
Our Association has met with your government and school board trustees almost 30 times, to try to negotiate a new contract.
With the Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association, we have been able to make significant progress on a number of key issues. However, your government not only continues to insist on drastic cuts, but you have demonstrated a total lack of understanding or respect for the bargaining process.
You have made comments through the media that have had a detrimental effect on negotiations, introduced regulations and legislation that violate teachers’ collective bargaining rights, and played games with the public to muddy the issues and deflect blame. Finally, during our most recent bargaining session on Friday, November 15, you abruptly withdrew some proposals and dismissed your bargaining representatives.
Your actions have thrown negotiations into complete chaos.
You say you are bargaining in good faith and want to negotiate an agreement, but your actions speak louder than your words.
You say you are being reasonable and want to drive a deal, but given the circus unfolding behind the scenes, you have shown that you have no intention of actually negotiating.
You say students and parents are facing uncertainty, but you need to acknowledge that the responsibility for this situation lies squarely with your government.
The bargaining process up to now has been a tremendous waste of everyone’s time and resources. Instead of misleading the public by talking about how hard you are working, we urge your government to get serious about negotiating an agreement that will protect Ontario’s world-class publicly funded education system.
Catholic teachers are appalled at how your government has bargained, and we expect most Ontarians would be too. Our Association stands ready to bargain, just as soon as your government gets its act together.
Liz Stuart, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association