Letter from TDSB Re: Job Action

September 29, 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We wanted to provide you with an update about job action being taken by teaching staff represented by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents support staff.

Currently, both unions are in ongoing province-wide labour negotiations with the Government of Ontario and public school boards. As a result, members of ETFO and CUPE are taking part in a legal job action that will impact our schools.

It’s important to note that schools remain open and instructional programs continue to run. During these extraordinary times in our schools, principals and vice-principals are working together with staff to maintain a caring and positive school environment. As always, student safety and learning remain the top priorities of all TDSB staff, and superintendents are in daily contact with our schools to assess any concerns.

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario

Recently, ETFO escalated its work-to-rule campaign to include a number of new measures — the full list of which was posted on September 18th at http://www.tdsb.on.ca/labour. As a result, some activities and events (e.g. curriculum nights and fundraising events) may need to be postponed or cancelled. Wherever possible, schools are working to reschedule affected events.

ETFO has stated that if sufficient progress is not made in negotiations it MAY implement rotating one-day strikes in October. Should rotating strikes occur, we will provide you with as much notice as possible about the impact on our schools.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (e.g. custodians, school office staff, educational assistants)

Today, CUPE (e.g. custodians, school office staff, educational assistants) has started a partial withdrawal of services which includes:

Not sweeping entrances and hallways
Not doing school compost programs
Not cutting grass or cleaning up leaves unless there is a safety concern
Not collecting or accepting money for school-related initiatives and fundraising
A full list of CUPE’s directives to its members is available at http://www.tdsb.on.ca/labour.

As the withdrawal of services continues, it MAY have a more significant impact on school activities and permits.

Please note, child care programs are currently operating according to their normal schedules.

As you can imagine, principals and vice-principals have had to take on additional tasks as a result of the ongoing job action and we appreciate your patience. During this time, there may be some delays when trying to contact your school office. While we appreciate offers of assistance from parents, volunteers cannot fulfill the duties of staff during a legal job action.

For all the latest labour information, visit http://www.tdsb.on.ca/labour.

We remain hopeful that a fair agreement can be reached between unions, the Government of Ontario and public school boards in the very near future.

Robin Pilkey
Robin Pilkey
Chair Donna Quan
Donna Quan
Director of Education