Ontario School Board Board (OSBCU), which represents 55,000 school assistants, including administrative staff, teaching assistants, and nutritionists, has already notified the government of its intention to negotiate the renewal of its collective agreement, which will expire at the end of August.
We hope to be able to conduct good and fair negotiations over the next 90 days [avec le gouvernement de Doug Ford] implement the priorities we have for student servicesexplains.
” Strikes are not one-sided. Risks [de grève] it really depends on the government and school associations that sit at the table and talk to us. »
Mrs Walton does not rule out the idea of a strike by her members as early as September, given that the pay issue is one of the cornerstones of the feud between the government and its members, whose average salaries are: $ 39,000 a year.
We are therefore the lowest paid educators in Ontario in the entire education sector. This therefore becomes a real recruitment and retention problem. people leaving workshe said.
Lots of work
In addition to the issue of salaries, Ms. Walton also regrets the sophistication resulting from the lack of resources and staff, she says.
We have schools that clean up every other day. We have teachers who find it difficult to meet students because they have an ever-increasing workload. One-time support simply does not existshe said.
” We have heard that school boards limit the number of early childhood teachers, which means that even our youngest students, who are just beginning their educational journey, do not receive the necessary support. »
Ms Walton also notes that there are health, safety and violence issues in the education system. According to her, the problems that could be solved if everyone involved sat down at the negotiating table.
a OSBCUit is not the only trade union to have notified the government of its intention to negotiate. French-Ontario Teachers’ Association (AEFO ) did the same.
The organization, which has about 12,000 members, says in a press release that it wants renewal
collective agreements for full-time and supplying teachers of school boards in French, valid until 31 August 2022.
” The government is increasingly supporting virtual or distance learning, although it has been proven that students learn best when teaching is provided in person. »
In a press release, Anne Vinet-Roy, the president of the organization, mentions some of the challenges her members face, including staff shortages, as well as
often purely administrative requirements of the government and school boards.
Difficulties with perspective?
Ricardo Tranjan is a political economist and executive at the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives. It deals in detail with the education system and funding policy.
It does not rule out that the early renewal period for collective agreements will be particularly tense, as, as
the relationship has never been friendly [entre les syndicats et le gouvernement].
If we look at the first four years […]The provincial government has proposed to increase the number of students per teacher in schools across Ontarioexplains.
” He also proposed compulsory online courses for high school students, which provoked strong parental opposition. »
Mr Tranjan thinks the pandemic has given the government some leeway that is no longer entirely appropriate.
I think the relationship was tense from the beginning, in 2018. […] I expect it to be a tense relationship and we will talk about it a lothe says.
While he willingly acknowledges politically
crushing however, he warned of the victory of the progressive conservatives that a relatively low turnout could work against the government.
That’s for sure [Doug Ford] it is in a strong position, but we also remember that it was elected by only 18% of the populationhe says.
He considers teachers’ unions to be one of the strongest unions in Ontario, in part because of the support they often receive from parents, as parents are linked to their children’s needs and are aware of school needs.
Mr Tranjan points out that students, especially high school students, could also take part in protest movements, as has been the case in the past.
As for her, Ms Walton says she is determined to get the best for her members, many of whom live in conditions that are at least hard to say.
The fact that most workers in education have more than one job is due to the fact that they want to continue providing services in the school system, but add others to make a living.explains.