The province of Ontario is in for another potential teachers strike.
According to the President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation(OSSTF) which represents 60,000 members, public high school teachers will hold a one-day strike Wednesday unless a tentative deal is reached.
In the case of a walkout, the Toronto District School Board has said the board “would have no option, but to close all secondary schools to students as there would not be sufficient supervision to ensure safety.”
In response, Education Minister Stephan Lecce has said he finds it troubling that the teacher unions turn their backs on the children.
According to the Minister, the two percent increase in wages and benefits requested by the Teachers’ Federation would cost $1.5 billion.
“Educators in Ontario are the second-highest remunerated in the country — we pay them well and we value their work,” Lecce said. “We’re offering a $750 million increase and the people of this province overwhelmingly, who I’ve spoken to, have said to me that they want us to be reasonable when it comes to compensation at one percent.”
While a walkout has been tentatively set for Wednesday, the OSSTF and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) began some job action Tuesday, by withdrawing largely administrative work such as EQAO preparation.