The Ontario elementary school union has announced that they will commence a once-a-week province-wide walkout starting February 6, if contract talks with the Ford government do not resume.
ETFO (Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario) gave a media release stating the union will be escalating its “rotating strikes across the province beginning Monday, Feb. 3, if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.”
“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Stephen Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond in the release. “Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”
The ETFO had previously said that talks between the government and the unions had stagnated thanks in part to disagreements regarding class sizes and online education. Education Minister Steven Lecce noted that compensation was the primary sticking point.
The ETFO said the following walkouts will take place if an agreement is not reached by January 31, as outlined by Global News.
“Feb. 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards
Feb. 4: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Peel, Rainbow, Thames Valley and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority
Feb. 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
Feb. 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members
Feb. 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo Region and York Region school boards as well as Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities.”
Bargaining has not commenced since December 2019.