Strike Action Update from Lakehead Board of Education

STRIKE ACTION - Image depositphotos.com
STRIKE ACTION - Image depositphotos.com

THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead Board of Education is advising parents and students of pending labour action by employees which will start on Tuesday.

While a provincial agreement has been reached with staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), agreements with a number of other unions and federations have not been reached and two groups have initiated job action starting November 26, 2019.

At this time, schools will continue to:
– Remain open
– Ensure students and staff are safe
– Ensure student learning continues

Individual Union and Federation Updates:
Secondary Teachers, Adult and Continuing Education Teachers, Student Support Professionals (SSP’s) and Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s)

– Secondary Teachers, Adult and Continuing Education Teachers, Student Support Professionals (SSP’s) and Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) District 6A Bargaining Unit will begin information pickets and limited withdrawal of administrative services on Tuesday, November 26.

For more information on the job action, please visit the OSSTF website at: https://www.osstf.on.ca/news/mr-nov-21-2019.aspx

Information for Crossing an Information Picket Lines
OSSTF has indicated that their members will not be holding up vehicles as they enter and exit school board premises. That being said, please review the following information in case a picket line is present at a school entrance or exit.
Students and their families have the right to cross picket lines without harassment or intimidation. At the same time, OSSTF members will be exercising their legal right to provide information to people crossing the information picket line.
Please be respectful in all interactions with staff.

Recommended Procedures When Crossing an Information Picket Line:

• Students and their families crossing the information picket line are legally obliged to do so in a manner that does not endanger the life or safety of any person.
• If you are driving into a school parking lot, approach the information picket line as you would a busy intersection.
• Come to a full stop, watch for an opening and exercise caution before proceeding.
• Whether you are driving or walking across the information picket line, you may be stopped by a person on the picket line for a short period of time so that they can provide information about the strike. Be patient and proceed when the person on the picket line is finished with the presentation.
• Keep personal biases and emotions in check. Be friendly or neutral.
• The police have no authority in the dispute unless there is a breach of the peace or a criminal offence such as causing a disturbance or intimidation. If there is the possibility of a physical altercation, do not become involved. Report any safety concerns about picket activities to your school principal.
If you are driving across the information picket line to leave the school, please only make right-hand turns on to the street.
Other considerations:
• In an effort to reduce traffic issues at picketed sites, please consider arranging carpools for the drive to and from school.
• If at all possible, please avoid unnecessary departures and arrivals from the school.
• If you do not feel comfortable crossing the information picket line, you may park your vehicle on the street as long as it is legally parked. Please do not park in private lots or block driveways/lane-ways. We have been told by Thunder Bay Police that illegally parked cars will be ticketed.

Elementary Teachers
Elementary Teachers represented by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will begin Phase 1 of a withdrawal of services Tuesday, November 26.

For a full list of sanctions, please visit the ETFO website at https://etfocb.ca/strike-protocol-work-to-rule-phase-1/