04/11/2013 16:34 EDT | Updated 06/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Withdrawing extracurriculars an illegal strike, OLRB rules

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has ruled that the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario engaged in an illegal strike when it advised its members not to participate in extracurricular activities.

Although ETFO claimed that teachers can choose whether to take part in extracurriculars, the labour relations board found that the removal of a service when a collective agreement is in place constitutes a strike action.

The board released its decision Thursday but made no orders because the union's Charter challenge — about whether a government can decide to remove unionized workers' right to strike and impose a contract is acceptable or not — has yet to be heard in court.

ETFO has also asked the labour relations board to rule on the definition of a strike under controversial Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act.

Education Minister Liz Sandals released a statement saying that the ministry is currently reviewing it.

But she said the governing Liberals "continue to be focused on rebuilding relationships."

To read the labour relations board's full decision on withdrawing extracurriculars, look below.