[accordion clicktoclose=”true”]

[accordion-item title=”NEW – What happened at the meeting with the Conciliation Officer on November 4, 2019?”]
The conciliation meeting on November 4, 2019, failed to produce a positive result. Consequently, ETFO has requested a “no board” report for its Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker Central Tables.

[accordion-item title=’NEW – What happens next in the “no board” report process?’]

The Conciliation Officer reports the outcome of the conciliation meeting to the Minister of Labour. The Minister of Labour will then send a written notice to ETFO and school board bargaining agencies stating that a board of conciliation will not be appointed. This is known as a “no board” report.

A strike is legally possible the on 17th day following the issuance of the “no board” report.

The two sides can keep trying to reach a deal before or after a “no board” report has been issued by the Minister of Labour.

[accordion-item title=”NEW – Does the countdown to a legal strike position begin on the day ETFO requested the “no board” report (i.e., November 4, 2019)?”]
No, the countdown does not begin on November 4, 2019.

Strike action is legally possible on the 17th day after the Minister of Labour issues the no board report. As of November 4, 2019, the Minister of Labour has not issued the ‘no board” report.

[accordion-item title=”NEW – What does the Labour Relations Act  say about “no board” reports?”]
Ontario’s Labour Relations Act states that the existing terms and conditions of collective agreements remain the same until the Minister of Labour issues a “no board” report. 

After the “no board” report is issued, the terms and conditions of collective agreements are frozen for a 16 day period.  Bargaining may continue during that time.  On the 17th day following the “no board” report, any or all of the following could legally occur:

  • the union could call for strike action provided it has taken a strike vote and more than 50% vote in favour of strike action (Note: strike action can range from work-to-rule up to a full withdrawal of services);
  • the employer could lock out its employees;
  • the employer could make unilateral changes to the collective agreement;
  • the union and the employer could continue to bargain;
  • the union and the employer could mutually agree to send unresolved issues to binding arbitration;
  • the employer may request a last offer vote.


[accordion-item title=”NEW – Does a union have to engage in strike action on the 17th day after the Minister of Labour issues a “no board” report?”]
At that point, a union would be in a position to withdraw services, if it feels necessary to do so. However, a union is not required to take any form of strike action on the 17th day after a “no board” report is issued.

[accordion-item title=”NEW – Will ETFO continue to bargain centrally now that a “no board” report has been requested?”]
ETFO has advised OPSBA, CTA and the government of its desire to continue bargaining at its Teacher/Occasional Teacher and Education Worker Central Tables in an effort to achieve central agreements.

[accordion-item title=”NEW – How does the “no board” report affect local bargaining?”]
Local bargaining is not affected by either the October 16, 2019, application for conciliation or the November 4, 2019, request for a “no board” report.

[accordion-item title=”What is happening in ETFO central bargaining as of October 16, 2019?”]
ETFO is concerned that bargaining has stalled at its two central tables (i.e., Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table and Education Worker Central Table). As a result, ETFO filed for conciliation for both Central Tables with the Ministry of Labour on October 16, 2019.

More information was provided to ETFO members:

  • in ETFO’s CB eNewsletter (sent to members directly by the Provincial Office);
  • in ETFO Central Bargaining Bulletin #7 (provided to members by their ETFO local office); and
  • at ETFO information meeting/central strike votes being held across the province. To find out when the information meeting/central strike vote is being held in your location, check ETFO’s Central Strike Vote Calendar.

[accordion-item title=”What is “conciliation”?”]
At any point during negotiations, Ontario’s Labour Relations Act allows a union or an employer to request neutral third-party assistance to help resolve their differences. That request for assistance is called “conciliation”.

A request for conciliation is a common occurrence during collective bargaining.

After the request for conciliation is filed, a conciliation officer is appointed by the Minister of Labour to meet with the union and the employer in an attempt to conclude a collective agreement. 

To review the Labour Relations Act, click here:

[accordion-item title=”What kinds of issues are causing the move to conciliation?”]

Members attending information/strike vote meetings are being given detailed information about the bargaining issues that are causing ETFO significant concern.

After our final central strike vote meetings take place on October 30, 2019, ETFO will be issuing a Central Bargaining Bulletin to members summarizing those concerns. The bulletin will be sent to members through local communication channels.

[accordion-item title=”What does a conciliation officer do?”]

A conciliation officer is an impartial third party, appointed by the Minister of Labour, who has experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Conciliation officers confer with both the union and the employer, using their expertise to try to help both sides find mutually agreeable solutions to outstanding issues they might not have considered during bargaining.

[accordion-item title=”Can the conciliation officer propose solutions?  Do you have to accept them?”]
Conciliation officers have no authority to impose a settlement on the union and the employer. The conciliation officer can propose ideas, but the parties aren’t bound to accept them.

[accordion-item title=”What happens if conciliation is successful?”]

If conciliation is successful, a Teacher/Occasional Teacher and/or an Education Worker tentative central agreement will be reached and will be submitted to the appropriate section of the membership for ratification.

If a majority of members vote in favour of the tentative central agreement, it becomes their new central agreement.

[accordion-item title=”What happens if conciliation fails?”]

ETFO’s goal is to reach fair central agreements that support our members and public elementary education, so our hope is that conciliation will be successful.

ETFO is putting its total focus right now on this step – conciliation. We are hopeful a third party, like a conciliation officer with expertise in mediation, can kick-start some serious discussion that has stalled at the central tables and help us make some progress.

[accordion-item title=”When will the meeting with the conciliation officer take place?”]
ETFO filed for conciliation on October 16, 2019. A conciliation meeting has been scheduled for November 4, 2019.

[accordion-item title=”Is filing for conciliation a move by ETFO toward strike action?”]

It is an attempt at resolution. ETFO wants to take advantage of the bargaining assistance that’s offered under the Labour Relations Act.

ETFO’s hope is that a conciliation officer can help us with some major issues we’re having trouble resolving at our Teacher/Occasional Teacher Central Table and Education Worker Central Table.

[accordion-item title=”What does conciliation mean for ETFO members?”]
During conciliation, ETFO members engage in their professional responsibilities as they normally would.

[accordion-item title=”How can I keep up with what’s happening during conciliation?”]

There are many ways you can keep up-to-date with the most current bargaining-related events:

  • read ETFO’s Central Bargaining Bulletins and Collective Bargaining eNewsletter;
  • attend local information/strike vote meetings;
  • check this website frequently; and
  • follow ETFO’s social media accounts.

If you’re not receiving emails, texts, calls and mail from ETFO, it may mean we don’t have your most recent contact information on file. To ensure that ETFO has your home address, email address(es) and telephone number(s) on file, contact ETFO Member Records at


Have another question about collective bargaining? Ask us!