Grand Erie elementary students are going to be home twice this week, and a number of French language schools will be closed across the province on Thursday thanks to a number of strikes taking place this week.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced another week of full withdrawal of services. Saying they will continue their strike action next week, having sent five-day notices to school boards and authorities across the province. Once again it is going to be a full week of rotating strikes with one Province wide day in the following schedule:
- February 10: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic (designated early childhood educators only), Halton, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Rainbow, Thames Valley, Upper Canada and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority.
- February 11: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members.
- February 12: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex, Limestone, Niagara, Renfrew County, Toronto, Toronto Catholic (designated early childhood educators only) and Waterloo school boards, Moosonee and Moose Factory District School Authorities and Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre School Authorities.
- February 13: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Hamilton-Wentworth, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Ontario North East, Ottawa-Carleton, Peel, Penetanguishene, Protestant Separate, Simcoe County, Superior-Greenstone, Trillium Lakelands and York Region School Boards, and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.
- February 14: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Near North and Rainy River School Boards.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has announced another continuation of rotating strikes for Thursday, February 13th next week; this strike action will affect the Peel and Niagara regions as well as 7 other boards. There will also be a number of French-language schools affected by this strike action which you can see here.
The School Boards affected will be:
- Algoma District School Board
- Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board
- Superior-Greenstone District School Board
- Greater Essex County District School Board
- Avon Maitland District School Board
- Peel District School Board
- District School Board of Niagara
- Limestone District School Board
- Renfrew County District School Board
On top of that, for the first time since beginning job action, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) has announced an escalation to a Province wide full withdrawal of services for Thursday, February 13th. This is announced as the first of weekly strike action for the union.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has not announced any strike dates for this week, though they have announced that members will be enhancing their administrative job action beginning Tuesday, February 11. Meaning that during the regular school day, OECTA members will only undertake their scheduled teaching and supervision duties. They will not accept additional tasks or assignments. Parent-teacher interviews will go ahead if they have been scheduled. Teachers will continue to participate in extra-curricular activities.
The issues remain largely unchanged, with Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce framing compensation as a key issue for all the teachers’ unions, while the unions have said they’re fighting against the other cuts that have been made to education by the Ford government; relating to supports for students with special needs, addressing violence in schools, class sizes, mandatory online learning courses, and preserving full-day kindergarten. According to Global News the loss of pay, if these strikes continue, will soon exceed the 2% inflation rate recorded by Statistics Canada for December, 2019. With ETFO being the first to surpass the number by the end of this week. Meaning teachers will have given up more in pay than they are said to be asking for in raises. Despite this information, both sides continue to declare the other is lying to the public, and no new dates for negotiation are currently scheduled.