BRANTFORD, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2012) - Members from three Bargaining Units of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) District 23, Grand Erie have voted in favour of a strike mandate at meetings held this week.
The District 23 Teacher Bargaining Unit voted 95% in favour of a strike mandate, while the Occasional Teacher Bargaining Unit voted 94.3% in favour. Members of the Professional Student Services Personnel also voted with a resounding 98% vote.
The current collective agreements between these employees and the Grand Erie District School Board expired August 31, 2012 and the taking of a strike vote is a normal part of the legal process recognized by the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
Sharon Armstrong, District President, Bruce Hazlewood, President of the Teachers Bargaining Unit and Belinda Benko PSSP President, echoed the message sent by this overwhelming vote. "Members have joined, in solidarity, the ranks of those who are committed to standing up and fighting for our future as educators and professionals in Ontario by telling the provincial government that we won't back down. We won't be bullied. We won't accept it for education workers today, and we won't accept it in the future for any public sector worker."
Leslie Wolfe, Executive Officer with the OSSTF/FEESO said that "the overwhelming support of these members in favour of a strike is a clear illustration of the anger OSSTF /FEESO members feel at being stripped of their right to bargain."
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.