Teachers' strike to affect more Ontario school boards
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) is proceeding into its second week of rotating strikes, as negotiations between the ETFO and the provincial government remain at a standstill.
This time, the five-day strike notice has been issued to the Peel and Hamilton-Wentworth school boards for a potential walkout on Friday, January 31.
The one-day walkout will proceed unless a tentative agreement is reached before Friday.
“ETFO is very disappointed that Ford’s Education Minister Lecce has not come back to the bargaining table to negotiate key issues affecting students, student learning and educators,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond, who noted that 38 days have passed since the ETFO’s last bargaining session on December 19, 2019.
Elementary schools for both affected school boards are expected to be closed on Friday, and parents/guardians are advised to make alternate childcare arrangements.
ONE-DAY ETFO STRIKE announced that WILL affect Peel elementary schools on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. As we cannot ensure safety during an ETFO strike, all elementary schools will be closed to kindergarten to grade 8 students on Jan. 31.— Peel District School Board (@PeelSchools) January 26, 2020
More details will be shared on Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/Gk2wrlTkTc
All HWDSB elementary schools will be CLOSED to students on Friday, January 31 as a result of a one-day walkout by ETFO. Parents/guardians are required to make alternate childcare arrangements. Important letter to families and more details are found here: https://t.co/c0Wwuvmfnm pic.twitter.com/Akq5Jyh3co— HWDSB (@HWDSB) January 26, 2020
“Elementary teachers play an important role in keeping schools running smoothly and safely,” the Peel District School Board said in a statement. “Student safety is a top priority and cannot be ensured during an ETFO strike.”
ETFO President Sam Hammond continues to call for the Ontario government to return to the negotiating table and discuss the ETFO’s revised proposals.
“Minister Lecce is wrong when he says our strike action is about money,” said Hammond. “Ask any ETFO educator and they will tell you that lack of supports for children with special needs, large class sizes and the violent incidents occurring in classrooms due to lack of supports for students with unique learning needs are the reasons they are willing to go on strike.”
As the government currently shows no signs of meeting the ETFO’s demands, Education Minister Stephen Lecce is continuing to criticize the strikes and their impact on students.
“Student learning should never be compromised. Cancel these strikes,” Lecce said on Thursday.
Residents in all regions are advised to monitor their school board’s website and social media pages to see if they will be impacted by any upcoming strikes.
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