LINDSAY, ON – Trillium Lakelands District School Board has filed an application with the Ontario Labour Relations Board to seek a decision on whether or not the Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers Federation (OSSTF) District 15 demands are a legal negotiation position.  On February 5th, OSSTF District 15 declined a request by TLDSB to participate in interest arbitration.

“We find the impact of recent sanctions by our local union representatives very troubling,” stated Chairperson Louise Clodd. “Their actions are affecting students and could have an impact on upcoming graduation and award ceremonies.”

TLDSB secondary teachers have been directed to boycott traditional activities related to determining successful scholarship and award winners. They will also be boycotting their traditional role in preparing and participating in graduation ceremonies.

The key demands by the local union that are causing the impasse include asking for easier access to paid time off. Clarification has been received from both the Ontario Public School Boards Association and the Crown that this is an item for central provincial bargaining, not local negotiations, and that existing provisions are status quo. The second item of contention centres on the union wanting to make it more difficult for principals to conduct teacher performance appraisals (TPAs) every five years. This is the item for which the Board is seeking clarification from the OLRB. It is the Board’s belief that the union demands around TPAs are an attempt to override provincial legislation.

“Our secondary teachers are being directed to boycott and not participate in activities that could have serious consequences for student achievement and well-being,” continued Clodd, “Parents will not see any teacher comments on April Report cards and the letter “S” for “satisfactory” listed for all nine learning skills regardless of the student’s performance. We do not believe this is an equitable and respectful way to treat our students.”

The school board is awaiting response from the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

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