TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has filed an unfair labour practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board against the government over its refusal to bargain in good faith.
ETFO’s complaint, filed on August 8, 2023, cites that the government violated its obligation under bargaining legislation to negotiate in good faith when on July 28, 2023, it released Program/Policy Memorandum 168: Reading Instruction and Early Reading Screening (PPM 168).
ETFO’s Central Agreement for teachers and occasional teachers includes language that confirms the ability of teachers to exercise their professional judgement when choosing and implementing diagnostic tests. PPM 168 ignores teacher professional judgement in the Central Agreement, requiring elementary teachers with students in Year 2 of Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 to use a mandatory early reading screener twice per year.
“Early reading screening is an active subject of bargaining. The government knows that teachers already do assess and test students’ literacy and numeracy abilities. The government was well aware that some of the positions it was taking at the table violated professional judgement language in our collective agreement,” said ETFO President Karen Brown. “Rather than working with us collaboratively, rather than respecting the bargaining process, the government reverted to its true form and imposed a policy that violates both our members’ collective agreement rights and labour law in this province.”