Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation
District 29 Hastings–Prince Edward

President's Report

The impact of government cuts on OSSTF District 29

The announced change to the formula that generates teachers based upon student enrollment (from 22:1 to 28:1) will result in the loss of a significant number of full time teaching positions in our local. Additional positions will be lost with cuts to funding that supported student success and special education programming. Centralizing e-learning will further move teaching jobs out of our district. With all of these losses go the sections assigned to those teachers, their subject specific expertise that can not be replaced, and the volunteer commitments that they offered through their work. Those who remain will be in a teaching and learning environment without appropriate staffing for success.

What this means for students

The magnitude of the cuts announced by the Conservative Government will turn the teaching and learning environment in our schools upside down. Class size caps will balloon, smaller programs will be eliminated, subject specific qualifications lost due to retirement will not be replaced, at risk students will lose supports, and fewer adults in the building will mean that the program losses will expand well beyond the classroom.
It is very likely that we will see support staff losses in addition to the loss of teaching positions. 

Local Staffing

April 17th is the date that OSSTF D29 will receive projected enrollment numbers and corresponding staffing from our board. Our contract language is clear that 22:1 is the generator to be used to generate staffing for the system. The government has announced funding will be based upon a generator of 28:1. The April 17th staffing date will be a telling day for our local and the boards staffing plans for September of 2019.

Collective Agreement Matters

The local Collective Agreement that we have expires at the end of August 2019. If we have not settled on a new collective agreement with the board, through collective bargaining, the terms of the expired agreement will “live on” until such an agreement is reached, or we enter conciliation which puts us in a legal position to strike and boards in a position to change the terms and conditions.The cuts announced by the government have set up a near impossible task for locals to reach new collective agreements with their employers. 

What can I do:

1. Be engaged – pay attention to all messaging coming to you from OSSTF and participate in events that are planned to fight against the announced cuts.

2. Use the summary documents provided by OSSTF to raise awareness in your community about the impact of these cuts on secondary programming.

3. Share the local OSSTF parent council document with all members of your school parent council.

4. Contact your local MPP to let them know your concerns about the cuts to education.

5. Join colleagues and friends at the Rally for Education on April 6th.

6. Stay united – the pressures of the campaign ahead of us will increase dramatically and we must stand together as the pressure builds.