Sudbury Rainbow Board teachers' union hopes to settle, not strike

The union representing English public high school teachers in Ontario says teachers in seven boards are moving closer to a strike — including educators with the Rainbow Board in Sudbury.
The Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation says secondary school teachers have been without a contract since last August, and local negotiations are not going well in some boards. File photo. (CBC)

The union representing English public high school teachers in Ontario says teachers in seven boards are moving closer to a strike — including educators with the Rainbow Board in Sudbury.

The vice-president of the Ontario Secondary School Teacher's Federation said secondary school teachers have been without a contract since last August, and local negotiations are not going well in some boards.

Harvey Bischof said a "no board" report has been requested and, once issued, teachers would be in a legal strike position within 17 days.

"They're eager for us to have the opportunity to negotiate and frustrated by the fact that their employer has been complacent at best when it comes to setting dates and trying to get to a local collective agreement," he said.

Bischof noted the goal is not to strike, but to come to an agreement.

In Sudbury, there are about 500 teachers who belong to the union, he said.

The union is threatening to withdraw services at seven selected school boards: Peel, Durham, Halton, Ottawa-Carleton, Waterloo, Rainbow in Sudbury and Lakehead in Thunder Bay.

The union says it won't accept wage freezes that the Liberals want for all public sector workers until they eliminate a $10.9 billion budget deficit.

Premier Kathleen Wynne said she knew negotiations would be tough because of the "constrained finances," but says the government is committed to reaching a fair deal at the bargaining table.

with files from The Canadian Press

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