ETFO strike action

Dear CUPE 5555 member:

I have just returned from holidays out of country and a lot has happened since I was away.

I know that many of you are looking for direction in regards to ETFO’s job action that has started today.

After ETFO’s announcement on Friday afternoon I received a letter from our Ontario O.S.B.C.C committee giving direction to all CUPE locals and members across the province.
I have copied the message below.

Please send any questions or concerns via email to

Thank you

Ron Maguire
President CUPE 5555

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Friday, May 8th, 2015
Sisters and Brothers,
As you know, three boards (Durham, Rainbow District in the Sudbury region, and Peel) have been struck by OSSTF teachers in the last month.
ETFO has now confirmed that elementary teachers will join OSSTF teachers in job action on Monday, May 11th, in the form of a work-to-rule campaign.  ETFO has said that this strike action will be incremental in nature. Phase 1 of their job action will commence on Monday with the withdrawal of a number of administrative services.
We would like to remind CUPE members:
          You are still expected to report to work, even where schools are closed due to full-blown strike by OSSTF.  As per previous bulletins, we ask that you respect picket line protocols established by the unions undertaking job action, and that you show your support for your striking colleagues by joining their picket lines before you report to work or when you leave.  
          It is incredibly important that we show support and respect for teachers undertaking job action.  Among other things, this means that we must not perform duties normally performed by teachers while they are either striking or working to rule.  Some of you have collective agreement language that explicitly speaks to this.  Whether you do or don’t, we need to be clear with our employers and school boards that we will not do any work normally done by teachers undertaking job action.  Should your supervisor order you to perform the work of a striker, contact your union local.  Remember that working to rule is strike action. 
          If for any reason you feel unsafe crossing picket lines, you have a right to refuse unsafe work. You should go to a safe location and call your supervisor, and report this. You may be assigned to a different work location.
          Once again, if your employer indicates that CUPE members are not to report to work, insist that they are paid and remember that layoffs can only happen through the layoff provisions in your collective agreement.  We need to enforce those provisions of our contracts.
In solidarity,
Terri Preston
Chair, OSBCC and central bargaining committee




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