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Employee rights: Ontario school employees want fair treatment

All teachers -- public and Catholic -- will now be on an even keel financially in the province. The Ontario government will be shelling out $39 million to school employee groups. The announcement was made after public school teachers launched a labour board complaint that their Catholic colleagues were getting more in payouts. The increase comes to level out the playing field between Catholic and public school employees, ensuring employee rights

The decision from the Liberal government comes just months before the June provincial election. That means about 40 per cent of nonunionized staff, including principals and vice principals in the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) will get $2,000. Some public school officials are calling the move a dirty deal, accusing the government of bargaining in bad faith.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) spokespersons are accusing the government of coercive activity and of being discriminatory against members of certain unions. An education ministry spokesperson, however, said the government was fair and equitable in its dealings with all teachers. The Liberals have yet to ink a deal with ETFO. 

Employee rights are governed by the Employment Standards Act (ESA) in Ontario, which is enforced by the Ministry of Labour. When an Ontario resident believes his or her employee rights have been violated, obtaining legal counsel may be the right road to take. A lawyer can help a client to determine if it makes sense to file a complaint under the ESA and, if so, to pursue it through the appropriate outlets. 


Source:, "Ontario Liberals to pay $39 million to school employee groups", Victoria Gibson, April 19, 2018

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