HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 27, 2012) - The Teacher and Occasional Teacher Bargaining Units of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) in District 21, Hamilton-Wentworth, have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate at a meeting on Wednesday.
The Teacher Bargaining Unit members voted 95% in favour of a strike mandate, while the Occasional Teacher Bargaining Unit voted 89% in favour.
The contract between OSSTF/FEESO and the school board expired on August 31, and the taking of a strike vote is a normal part of the legal process recognized by the Ontario Labour Relations Act (OLRA).
"This vote is a unified message from the membership," said OSSTF/FEESO Provincial Treasurer Earl Burt. "It's not about wanting go out on strike. It is about using our rights recognized by law to bargain a collective agreement with the employer. This is also a strong indication of the anger and frustration that members are feeling toward the McGuinty-Hudak attacks against their rights as workers."
"Clearly our members are standing in solidarity and exercising their rights under the OLRA," said Chantal Mancini, President of the OSSTF/FEESO District 21 Teacher Bargaining Unit. "They have provided their bargaining team with a strong mandate."
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.