Teachers in Sault Ste. Marie joined thousands of others in the province today for a province-wide strike.
Locally, the teachers’ unions gathered at the Machine Shop parking lot for a morning rally before marching down Queen Street to Elgin and MPP Ross Romano’s office. The striking teachers then set their sights on Great Northern Road for maximum exposure to the public.
The leaders of Ontario’s main teachers’ unions say they hope a joint strike and massive protest today send a unified message to the Doug Ford government.
The labour groups say today marks the first time since 1997 that educators from all the major unions are walking out on the same day.
Liz Stuart, with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, says 200,000 teachers and education workers are calling on the government to back down on cuts.
The unions, particularly those representing secondary teachers, are upset about increases to class sizes, which they say will lead to thousands of fewer teachers in the system.
President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, Harvey Bischof, says today’s demonstration will counteract the education minister’s suggestions that teachers don’t support their union leadership, and that parents aren’t behind them.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the two million students out of class today should be in school instead.