Public board teachers go work-to-rule

Public board teachers go work-to-rule

Public board teachers go work-to-rule

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), the unions that represent public school elementary and secondary teachers across the province, have both announced they will proceed with work-to-rule campaigns starting on Tuesday.

During the strike action, the union says its members will continue to support learning needs of students, maintain contact with parents and show solidarity by participating in collective actions.

The Ford government says it's committed to holding salary increases to one per cent a year for three years but at least one union (the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation) is seeking an increase of about two per cent, the current inflation rate.

The elementary teachers' federation says it can't predict what other services might be withdrawn.

Lecce said if teachers don't participate in certain professional development activities and don't put comments on report cards, that will hurt students.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) represents teachers in the region's Catholic schools and is still negotiating with the province, but is now not in a strike position.

ETFO said the meetings are meant to update its 83,000 members on previously agreed-upon collective bargaining priorities as contract negotiations with the Progressive Conservative government get underway.

The job actions will not affect the regular school day, the union said. At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, information pickets will be held Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce, seen here on October 28, 2019, said the government has been reasonable in contract talks, scaling back increases to class sizes and mandatory e-learning requirements. "Health and education are the two most important parts of the budget". Both OSSTF and ETFO requested a so-called "no-board report" after one day of conciliation, which starts the countdown to being in a legal strike position.

Teachers also won't help students prepare for or write EQAO (Education Quality and Accountability Office) standardized tests.

Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement.

The plan is to hand out pamphlets to parents.

"What we'll be doing is information pickets and the objective of those is not to interrupt school or delay anyone", Glen Hodgson, local president told BayToday.

But OSSTF president Harvey Bischof says those moves have just taken the education system from much worse to somewhat worse. Either union could choose to withdraw more services or stage partial or full strikes.

"We're striking a very limited number of administrative kinds of duties that mostly affect the Ministry of Education", said Bischof, whose union includes public high school teachers and support staff in elementary and secondary schools.

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