On Monday, February 12, 2024, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the Superior Court’s 2022 ruling that Bill 124 is unconstitutional and a violation of workers’ most fundamental Charter rights. OSSTF/FEESO has been fighting Bill 124 on behalf of members since the bill was passed in 2019, and today, we celebrate.
We celebrate the Court of Appeal’s recognition that this legislation is unjust and a clear violation of the right to free and fair collective bargaining. We celebrate that we are now much closer to ensuring that all affected OSSTF/FEESO members will receive a remedy for wages that were stolen from them under this unlawful legislation. And we celebrate that workers’ collective power won out today, overcoming the heavy-handed, scandal-plagued Ford government that has repeatedly tried to strip workers of their rights and freedoms.
Last fall, OSSTF/FEESO was able to successfully negotiate an arbitration process for members covered by the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA) in advance of today’s ruling. As shared on Friday, February 9, Arbitrator Kaplan released the arbitration decision on a remedy for wages lost by members covered by the SBCBA under Bill 124.
Rest assured, OSSTF/FEESO will not stop fighting Bill 124 until all affected members receive a remedy for the wages stolen under the unlawful legislation.
We urgently call on the Ford government to accept today’s ruling and to not waste more public money defending this disastrous legislation by appealing today’s decision by the Court of Appeal. And we call on the province to work with us in negotiating a fair and timely remedy for all OSSTF/FEESO members who lost wages under Bill 124 but do not yet have a remedy, including our members working in the university sector and for school board transportation consortia.
It’s time to turn the page on Bill 124 once and for all. OSSTF/FEESO is proud to have remained united with our public sector allies throughout this long and difficult fight. We will continue to defend the most essential rights of our members and of workers everywhere.