Elementary teacher strikes to hit three boards as contract talks resume


TORONTO — Ontario elementary teachers in three school boards are to strike today, a day after their union and the government held contract talks that are to continue.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario has been staging one-day, rotating strikes since last week, and the union is targeting boards in Durham, Lambton Kent and Algoma on Thursday.

The union says if a deal isn’t reached by Friday, they plan to hold provincewide strikes once a week — with the first one set for Feb. 6 — and each board will be hit by a one-day rotating strike as well.

The federation sat down with the government Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 19 after a government-appointed mediator called the two sides back to the table.

Union president Sam Hammond has said he hopes the government negotiators have a mandate to remove further cuts, increase supports for students with special needs, address violence in classrooms, preserve the current kindergarten model and maintain fair and transparent hiring practices.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government has been reasonable in amending its proposals and he hopes the union will do the same.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press


  1. If teachers work so hard and smart how come nobody under the age of 30 at any donut shop restaurant or retail store can make correct change without asking Siri or Alexa?

    • A monkey can be trained to count change. They don’t teach it because nobody needs to knows how to do this. I have two grown sons who went through K-12 in Sault Ste. Marie and they both got an excellent education and are productive members of society without having to make change. What they can do is think critically, solve problems, and oh, speak French. I’ll take French language skills over the ability to count change any day.

      • @Abby Obenchain – people often use counting change as an example only though it’s irrelevant today.
        I regularly have young people applying for positions who are high school & college educated yet can’t do basic math without whipping out their phones, can’t spell, can’t write, have low reading comprehension. Their resumes look like they were written by an 8-10 year old.
        The problem – they confuse products on shipping & receiving because they don’t know how to spell words then erroneously swap other products that sound similar but are spelled differently. Results in angry customers, lost revenue on our end, delayed shipments. Counting and basic math may just be “counting change” to you, but to a potential employer it makes a big difference, especially so for smaller businesses.
        I consider your outlook ‘settling’ on inferior education which self-perpetuates the current downward trend of deterioration.
        By the way, having been educated in the French immersion program I was fluent yet over the years never used french while in Ottawa or Quebec and not even during my contract in a bilingual position. But I had to count.

      • @Lorraine – I didn’t see any walk-outs, strikes or job action when there were huge changes being made to the ever weakening curriculum.
        “I was only following orders!” = part of the problem

      • @Monique Pascall – Parents can’t because they don’t live in the teaching fantasy world with that much time off with such high pay. More & more parents are resigned to the fact that they need a second job just to make ends meet.
        Having more than one degree isn’t even uncommon anymore. Even walmart positions below managers require university education. Teachers aren’t exactly considered highly qualified anymore, they’re closer to about average.

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