School Boards Collective Bargaining Act
The School Boards Collective Bargaining Act is the result of extensive consultations, over many months, to get feedback from education stakeholders. Five informal rounds of consultations took place this past summer and early fall with trustee associations, school board staff, teacher federations and support staff unions.
If passed, the act would establish a clear framework for collective bargaining in the education sector by creating a two-tier collective bargaining process with legally defined roles for the province, trustee associations, school boards, teachers' federations and support staff unions.
Central vs. Local Bargaining
Issues with province-wide impacts will be bargained at a central table that includes the government and school board representatives as part of the management team, and federations or unions representing employees. A matter will be considered for central table bargaining if it could result in a significant impact on the implementation of education policy, or if it could result in a significant cost for one or more school boards.
All other issues will continue to be bargained by local school boards and local employee representatives and can happen concurrently with central bargaining. The provisions of a central agreement combined with locally negotiated provisions will make up the final collective agreement.
The proposed legislation names the following parties as the statutory central bargaining agents for collective bargaining in the education sector:Central bargaining agents for teachers:
- L'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
- The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
- The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA)
- The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF).
Central bargaining agents for employers:
- L'Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario (ACEPO)
- L'Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC)
- Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association (OCSTA)
- Ontario Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA).
Support Staff Central Bargaining
Support staff unions will also have access to central tables. The minister would have the authority to designate a union bargaining council that represents support staff in schools (e.g. office staff, early childhood educators, maintenance workers), as long as the council represents a minimum of 15 bargaining units.
A central settlement will only be finalized if all three parties - the government, trustee associations and federations/unions - agree to the centrally negotiated terms.