DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Recent negotiations between the Durham District School Board and the local OSSTF branch have come to a conciliated deal.
The deal has resolved several local bargaining issues, with some still to be decided by a panel in mandatory arbitration. Mediation also still continues between the board and secondary occasional teachers unit.
On Monday, Aug. 10, the school board announced that they agreed to implement an arbitration award given by an arbitration panel. The deal replaces a negotiated settlement and will be effective by Tuesday, Sept. 1, and didn’t need to be ratified.
Michael Barrett, Chairman of the School Board told The Standard that in his opinion, this is a good deal for both sides.
“It’s a step forward,” he said. “(OSSTF) probably didn’t get everything they wanted, and we didn’t get everything we wanted, but that’s bargaining. Overall, I think this is positive.”
However OSSTF district 13 president Dave Barrowclough was not as optimistic.
“We only reached a deal on some of the issues and the rest are headed for arbitration. It was a tough process and it wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped it would be.”
He added that to the Peel negotiations, stating that they were “more successful than (the DDSB and OSSTF) were able to accomplish here.”
Mr. Barrett said that this deal is a sign that ground can be made when both sides meet for negotiations.
“It doesn’t necessarily move us closer provincially, but it is a sign you can reach a deal by talking,” Mr. Barrett said. “It’s difficult to come to an agreement unless you are sitting across from people.”
The provincial OSSTF has issued a work to rule campaign to begin in September if a deal isn’t reached.
“We are still going to face a withdrawal of services and of extracurriculars if a deal is not reached on the provincial side,” Mr. Barrett said.
No details of the award have been released, as the arbitration process is ongoing. OSSTF and the province are scheduled to return to the table this week.
Meanwhile, talks between the province and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario are scheduled to start back up on Sept. 1, a week before the school year is slated to begin. Provincial talks have also resumed with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers.
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