January 27, 2020
ETFO Media Release: ETFO Challenges Minister Lecce and His Team to Resume Contract Talks or Rotating Strikes Will Escalate for a Third Week
The following ETFO Media Release was posted on January 27, 2020.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will escalate its rotating strikes across the province starting Monday, February 3 if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.
“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “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.”
“From ETFO’s perspective, fair contract talks must include: appropriate funding for Special Education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining our internationally recognized Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation.”
“I challenge the minister to send his negotiators back to the table to address these issues because in four months of talks from August through December 2019, his negotiators had no mandate to discuss them.”
“It’s time that the Ford government recognized that our public education system is key to the future of this province’s economy. We must have the tools and supports to prepare students to realize their individual aspirations and productively contribute to the economic and social fabric of this province,” added Hammond.
If central agreements are not reached by January 31, ETFO will escalate its rotating strikes as follows:
February 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards.
February 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.
February 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.
February 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members.
February 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo 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.