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Teacher talks hit impasse

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Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation teachers in District 5B (Rainy River), who have been engaged in a selective withdrawal of services since December, remain without a contract despite another day of negotiations this week.

Negotiations with the Rainy River District School Board began on April 30, 2015 and over the past year, only 11 days of negotiations were scheduled.

Two additional days of negotiations were scheduled for this week; however, impasse was reached late Tuesday afternoon.

“Our members have been without a contract since August, 2014 and are growing increasingly frustrated at the board’s reluctance to address local issues raised at the bargaining table,” said local union president Kent Kowalski.

“The board’s proposals fail to recognize the unique circumstances in the district and employment conditions that are increasingly under attack by the board,” he charged.

“With a central agreement . . . in place since August, 2015, we are extremely disappointed with the lack of movement towards a local deal in Rainy River,” echoed OSSTF provincial president Paul Elliott, who is chair of the negotiations team.

“We expect a fair local deal that doesn’t seek to undermine the working conditions of our members, their access to work, and the learning conditions of our students,” he added.

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