Teachers' job action hits local elementary schools Monday and Tuesday
LONDON, ONT. -- With no talks scheduled, London-area public elementary school students can expect a four-day weekend due to teachers' job action.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) has job action at the Thames Valley, Avon Maitland and Lambton Kent school boards scheduled for Monday.
That will be followed by a second province-wide strike on Tuesday. The first held simultaneously across Ontario was this past Thursday.
ETFO President Sam Hammond has said the union and government were close to a deal when the province's negotiators made last-minute proposals ETFO could not accept.
According to the union, key issues include special education funding, full-day kindergarten, hiring regulations and addressing classroom violence.
But Education Minister Stephen Lecce maintains that teachers are escalating strikes to advance higher compensation.
Teachers' unions are asking for wage increases of around two per cent to match inflation, but the government passed legislation in 2019 capping wage hikes for all public sector workers at one per cent for three years.
The only teachers' union of the big four still bargaining is the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), which announced Friday it will also begin holding weekly provincewide strikes, starting on Thursday of next week.
AEFO has 12,000 members in the French-language elementary and high school system.
The Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) announced Friday another walkout will take place on Thursday, Feb. 13 at boards including Avon Maitland, Greater Essex County and Huron-Superior Catholic.
The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has announced it will escalate administrative job action.
- With files from The Canadian Press