With one-day strikes by members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) set to start this Monday, ETFO has given the required five-day notice to Thames Valley, Rainbow and Rainy River school boards for strikes on Wednesday January 22.
“In the 28 days since our last bargaining session on December 19, 2019, the Ford government and Minister Lecce have had ample time to return to contract talks with ETFO and they have chosen not to do so,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “We have no choice but to commence rotating strikes starting this Monday as our only means of forcing the government to get serious about negotiations and the future of public education.”
As previously announced, members in ETFO’s Toronto, York Region and Ottawa-Carleton locals will conduct a one-day strike on Monday January 20. Members in Grand Erie, Trillium Lakelands, Renfrew and Superior-Greenstone will strike on Tuesday January 21.
“Education Minister Lecce is being disingenuous when he says there has been no movement in elementary contract talks. ETFO tabled revised proposals in late December on key issues affecting students and educators. The government has given no response and made no commitment to return to bargaining talks in 28 days.”
“It is crystal clear that the Ford government is only interested in cuts to public education. There has been little discussion on ETFO’s proposals for: smaller classes where students get the help they need; more resources for students with special needs; protection of our world-renowned Kindergarten program; and fair compensation for educators,” added Hammond.
“We are urging the Minister to get back to the table and discuss the critical issues that parents and educators care about.”
In November, 98% of ETFO members gave their union a strong mandate for central strike action should it be needed during ETFO’s central bargaining negotiations. ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.
For further information, contact:
Thames Valley locals: Sonia Ellis-Seguin, Strike Coordinator, Cell: 647-274-9211, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rainbow locals: Jane Bennett, Strike Coordinator, Cell: 905-975-2297, email@example.com
Rainy River locals: Lisa West, Strike Coordinator, Cell: 416-948-0832, firstname.lastname@example.org
ETFO Provincial Media Relations: Valerie Dugale, 416-948-0195, email@example.com