JANUARY 11, 2013 – Today’s 4 a.m. decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ruled the day of protest planned by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO) as an illegal strike action. In response, ETFO cancelled its January 11 day of protest and ordered members to report to work.
When ETFO initially announced the day of protest, the Halton District School Board made the decision to close schools due to the lack of supervision for students. This changed with the OLRB’s early morning ruling for ETFO to cease and desist. With ETFO ordering its teachers back to work, the Halton District School Board made the decision to open schools, and needed to communicate that message as quickly as possible.
“We understand the timing of this decision created stress and frustration for our families and communities,” says David Euale, Director of Education, for the Halton District School Board.
In anticipation of the protest, the Halton District School Board had worked with before- and after-school childcare providers to create full-day spaces during the day. Childcare providers then reassigned staff to selected sites. Given the 4 a.m. timing of the OLRB decision, it was too late to contact childcare providers to cancel these plans and re-direct their staff back to their original schools, to ensure young students would not arrive without staff to meet them. School bus providers also had to be notified in order to resume the operation of school transportation. These factors delayed the Board’s announcement that all elementary schools would be open today.
“We believe keeping our schools open is in the best interest of students; however, until we could ensure staff would be at schools to greet students, we could not declare schools open,” says Euale. “We apologize to parents for the confusion and inconvenience caused by the very late cancellation of the day of protest, and we appreciate parents’ understanding with these challenging circumstances.”
For additional information, contact:
David Euale, Director of Education
Halton District School Board
905-335-3663 Toll free: 1-877-618-3456