Ontario elementary teachers kick off week of rotating strikes as dispute continues

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TORONTO — Ontario’s elementary teachers start a week of rotating one-day strikes today, shutting down schools in three boards.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario is holding its first strikes today in the York Region, Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton school boards.

The strikes will hit different boards each day this week as tensions escalate between the union and the province.

All four major teachers’ unions are engaged in job action as they negotiate new collective agreements with the Progressive Conservative government.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation is holding a one-day strike at some boards on Tuesday, as is the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association.

The unions say that class sizes and cuts to services are the roadblocks in bargaining, while Education Minister Stephen Lecce insists they’re stuck on wages.

Only the union representing teachers in Ontario’s French school system has contract talks scheduled with the government, even as they began a work-to-rule campaign last week.

As the unions ramp up their labour action, the province has sought to strike back.

The government announced last week that it would compensate parents affected by the elementary teacher strikes.

Under the plan, parents whose kids aren’t yet enrolled in school but attend school-based child-care centres affected by the strikes will get the most money — $60 per day — while those with children in grades 1 through 7 will get the least — $25.

While parents of secondary school students won’t get any funding, those with children with special needs up to age 21 will get $40 per day — the same amount as parents whose kids are in kindergarten.

The Ministry of Education has said more than 100,000 parents have signed up for that program, which could cost the government $48 million per day if teachers from all school boards were to strike. That’s less than the $60 million per day the government spends in teacher compensation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.

The Canadian Press

39 COMMENTS

  1. Their collective voice may carry more weight if testing scores in this region weren’t so embarrassing and if post-secondary failure rates weren’t so high.
    Universities and colleges have been complaining regularly at the low calibre students schools are spitting out in recent years.
    ADSB students are struggling compared to others – Soo students who move out town find they’re behind other schools.

  2. My biggest regret is not being able to be home and continue to homeschool my kids. Just can’t afford it anymore.
    When my kids entered public school in gr 5 they were nearly 2 years ahead of the other kids in their grade.

    • Parmveer Gill US president Reagan did just that with the striking air traffic controllers in the eighties and there is no reason Premier Ford should not being doing this now.

    • Conika Marie Don’t bother trying to argue with people who’ve been brainwashed into believing that teachers are the enemy here. Doug Ford is systematically destroying education and healthcare in Ontario and all they see is he is sticking it to “greedy” teachers and healthcare workers. The true villains are the politicians, who by the way, worked way less than teachers did last year and got MASSIVE raises!!

    • Abby Obenchain you’re right, sometimes these people aren’t worth going into extended debates with🤷‍♀️
      Other countries may have similar numbers, but theres more to it than just student to teacher ratio.. hours worked, work environment, the output, unexpected hurdles and added challenges of special needs children with little assistance.. there are so many reasons I support these teachers.. heartbreaking how many of our neighbours take them for granted and think so little of them when as you said the politicians work less, systematically destroy our resources, and get paid plenty to do so.

    • Yes but that doesnt make it okay to load classrooms now and expectations are different as well as students. So many more needs now unless you are a parent you cant know the needs in the classroom now.

    • Curriculum expectations have risen beyond ‘the three Rs’ lol anyway, i support the educators and think its disrespectful to call people our society relies on ungrateful

    • Conika Marie thats why they have EA’s now, to help with the special needs students and larger class sizes. If anyone is brainwashed, its the same people that side with the greedy teachers who are the same people that are against good paying jobs. But don’t worry we’re getting a giant tiger and more minimum wage jobs!! Hoooorayyy!!!

    • Parmveer Gill you just plain out rude. We need the ea’s in the classroom to help keep it safe. They want to cut ea’s out. Do you realize how UNSAFE some classes are and how much some kids need help to succeed

      • The vast majority of the budget is consumed by the topheavy & inflated salaries of teachers, principals and administrators.
        The student base has shrunken by 100,000 students over the past decade but somehow there are thousands more teachers and the Ontario education budget increased by $700,000,000. There should have been plenty of room in the budget for EA’s without the inflated salaries of other positions but greed took over.
        Further, if it’s really “about the quality of education ” and “for the kids”, then why don’t the teachers take their requested increase off the table and instead leverage for EA’s, etc?
        We all know why.
        For years the private sector lost their private pensions, lost benefits, were forced to do more with less, largely increased workloads – all while dealing with wage freeze year after year.
        Teachers have been painting themselves into a corner for years and now are crying foul because they have to pay the piper.

  3. Here we go the students arnt gotta learn anything with theses strikes..my opinion is they should lose March break to make up all the days they miss for the strikes.

  4. I don’t mind my children being home! I sure as shit didn’t vote for that ass wipe! My boys are severe autistic and he cut their services and therapies. They were refused their funding. I am all on board with our teachers for our children!!! Keep going our children need more stability and one on one, with larger classes they are taking this away from our children and yes it is making things worse and will not help our children in the long run mentally and emotionally having him do all this BS!

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