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Toronto secondary teacher bargaining team doesn’t support deal to avoid strikes

TORONTO — The bargaining unit representing Toronto high school teachers says it doesn’t support a tentative agreement between the provincial union and the government to avoid the possibility of strikes.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation reached a deal last month with the province that would see the parties keep bargaining for a new contract until Oct. 27 and then send any remaining issues to be settled by arbitration.

That would eliminate the chance of a strike by high school teachers.

But the proposal must first be ratified by members, and there may be signs of trouble on the first day of more than two weeks of voting.

The OSSTF Toronto teachers’ bargaining unit executive has sent its members a memo saying they’re not directing teachers on how to vote, but are expressing their concerns about entering into binding arbitration and removing their right to strike.

The executive writes that “to voluntarily give up that right has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for education workers and the entire labour movement.” 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press