The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will continue week two of rotating strikes, having sent the five-day required strike notice for Greater Essex County, Near North, Limestone and Upper Canada school boards for Wednesday January 29.
“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. “It is now 36 days since ETFO’s last bargaining session on December 19, 2019.
“I am concerned at the amount of disinformation that Minister Lecce is saying to the public through the media and social media. Either he is misinformed about what has taken place during contract talks or he is purposefully sharing inaccurate information to cover up the continuing cuts he wants to make to public education.”
“His negotiators have not returned to talks to discuss ETFO’s revised proposals tabled on December 19 concerning more supports to students with special needs or solutions to address violence in schools.”
As previously announced, members in ETFO’s Simcoe, Waterloo and Keewatin-Patricia locals will conduct a one-day strike on January 27. Members in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Hastings-Prince Edward, Upper Grand, Moosenee and Moose Factory will strike on January 28.
“Minister Lecce is wrong when he says our strike action is about money. 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,” added Hammond.
“These were the bargaining priorities that our members asked ETFO to pursue in a province-wide survey sent to them last year.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.
To arrange interviews with local presidents and members, please contact:
Greater Essex locals: Tracie Edward, Strike Coordinator, cell: 416-948-3452, firstname.lastname@example.org
Near North locals: Tracy Blodgett, Strike Coordinator, cell: 416-427-7562, email@example.com
Limestone locals: Phyllis Hession-White, Strike Coordinator, cell: 416-948-1537, firstname.lastname@example.org
Upper Canadian locals: Rita Cohen, Strike Coordinator, cell 416-948-2302, email@example.com
ETFO Provincial Media Relations: Valerie Dugale, cell: 416-948-0195, firstname.lastname@example.org