Teacher strike could begin as early as November 25
The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO), which represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province, has received a 'no board' report, meaning a legal strike could begin as early as November 25.
The organization hopes the threat of a potential strike will put pressure on the government to "get serious" about a new CBA.
"ETFO is fighting for investment, not cuts in education, but Doug Ford's Education Minister Stephen Lecce isn't listening," Sam Hammond, ETFO president, said in a news release.
"While ETFO is now in a legal position to take strike action in 17 days, we will continue to focus on contract talks in an attempt to arrive at a deal that improves student learning conditions and educator working conditions," he continued.
Tensions between Ontario teachers and the Ford government have been mounting since the announcement the government would be making cuts to education funding, as well as the fact class sizes would be increasing.
"Doug Ford and his Minister of Education Stephen Lecce have let everyone-parents, students and educators-down. This government doesn't seem to care about students with special needs, our youngest learners in Kindergarten, larger elementary class sizes and fewer elementary teachers in schools. Parents and educators do," Hammond said.
"Parents don't want cuts to education. It's unfortunate that this is only way we can get the government and school board associations to address these critical issues and maintain Ontario's world-class public education system," he added.
While the threat of a strike is real, the ETFO says they're committed to reaching a deal before it comes to that.
"ETFO will keep trying to reach a fair deal during this time. It's on the government's shoulders to start investing in public education so that our students can succeed," said Hammond.
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