Rainbow secondary school teachers decide to strike as of Monday

Rainbow secondary schools closed to students

Instructional programs for Grades 9 to 12 cancelled

MANITOULIN-The Rainbow District School Board has been advised that the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF – District 3), representing secondary teachers and secondary occasional teachers, will begin legal strike action on Monday, April 27, 2015. As a result of this decision by the teachers’ union, Rainbow District School Board has been forced to cancel all instructional programs for students in Grades 9 to 12.

“The Board came to the table ready to negotiate and responded to all union proposals.  The union chose not to respond and advised the Board, through the mediator, that the parties were at an impasse, they did not see any possibility of progress or a settlement, and that there would be a strike as of Monday, April 27, 2015,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar.  “In fact, the union suggested the time would be better spent preparing for the strike.”

Chair Dewar said she was extremely disappointed that OSSTF – District 3 has chosen to withdraw their services locally. “We believe progress was possible and that our time would be better spent negotiating. The union, however, did not come back to the table to respond. They also advised that they would be cancelling the next day of bargaining, effectively shutting the door on any opportunity to move forward.”

Chair Dewar added: “Our students and their families are caught in a dispute that is really between OSSTF and the province. We value our secondary teachers in the classroom and, in the best interest of students, we encourage OSSTF – District 3 to join us in resuming local negotiations as quickly as possible.” Chair Dewar thanked the Ministry of Labour and the mediator for granting the Board’s request to provide the parties with assistance at the bargaining table.

Students and parents/guardians are advised that, as of Monday, April 27, 2015, all Rainbow secondary schools will be closed to students, including Barrydowne College and the Adult Day School.

Buses for secondary students will not operate.

Buses will continue their routes for elementary students only.

Dual credits will continue at Cambrian College.

Programs for Grade 7 and 8 students at Chelmsford Valley District Composite School will continue at Chelmsford Public School.

Programs for Grade 7 and 8 students at Lively District Secondary School will continue at Walden Public School.

Community use of schools, in the evenings and on weekends, will proceed as scheduled.

Students are encouraged to continue their learning through self-directed study.

Resources are available through the Rainbow District School Board website at rainbowschools.ca.

Students and parents/guardians are reminded to visit the Board website for updates.

Rainbow District School Board has approximately 5,000 secondary students in 10 secondary schools in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin Island. There are 401 permanent secondary teachers and 125 occasional secondary teachers in Rainbow Schools.