Teachers in Flesherton during strike February 3.
BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF — In the absence of a collective agreement being reached between the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the provincial government, ETFO will proceed with the strike action as planned. This includes their rotating one-day full withdrawal of services impacting Bluewater District School Board on Monday, February 3, and a province-wide strike scheduled for Thursday, February 6.
Elementary school teachers from various schools in the area gathered in Flesherton to participate in the strike on February 3, 2020.
Teachers marched beside Highway 10 in Flesherton, holding placards.
As noted on the ETFO website, “ETFO made every effort over the past three days to move negotiations forward but it became increasingly clear that the Ford government was not willing to address key issues in any meaningful way,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “For example, the government wants to reduce funding to support the learning needs of special education students, and it wants ETFO to agree to those cuts at the bargaining table. We can’t do that.”
ETFO will escalate its rotating strikes across the province beginning Monday, February 3.
“Our members have made it very clear that they are committed to protecting public education, and they expect to see a bargaining outcome at the central table that supports the learning needs of their students,” noted Hammond. “Agreeing to accept cuts to the funding that elementary students have had in previous years, and that they desperately need now, is not something that ETFO will consider.”
“The Minister claims that he is there for students,” stated Hammond. “If that’s the case, then he should have no issue instructing his bargaining team to make investments in the priority funding and special education funding currently on the table.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province. Previous strike action has taken place in Markdale.
Miranda, the T-Rex, as seen supporting teachers in Markdale on January 24, 2020. Photo supplied by Amy Brown.
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