As the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (EFTO) moves into week two of rotating strikes, the union has issued the required five-day notice in advance of a one-day strike at the Limestone District School Board (LDSB).
The one-day strike will take place on Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020, and will also occur within the Greater Essex County, Near North, and Upper Canada school boards.
“As a result of a planned one-day strike by members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), all elementary and intermediate (Grade 7/8 English and French Immersion) schools in the Limestone District School Board will be closed to students from Kindergarten to Grade 8 on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. Elementary and intermediate students should not report to school,” LDSB said in a statement on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
According to the board, all secondary schools will remain open during the exam period, and both childcare centres and community use of its schools will continue operations as usual.
“Teachers represented by ETFO may choose to picket outside Limestone secondary schools. They are legally permitted to do so. We ask that those required to cross picket lines be courteous and respectful,” the board said.
“We are hopeful that the parties at the central table are able to reach an agreement soon.”
EFTO President Sam Hammond voiced “disappointment” and “concern” over comments that have been made by Education Minister Stephen Lecce.
““ETFO is very disappointed that Ford’s Education Minister Lecce has not come back to the bargaining table to negotiate key issues affecting students, student learning and educators. It is now 36 days since ETFO’s last bargaining session on December 19, 2019,” Hammond said in a statement on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020.
“I am concerned at the amount of disinformation that Minister Lecce is saying to the public through the media and social media. Either he is misinformed about what has taken place during contract talks or he is purposefully sharing inaccurate information to cover up the continuing cuts he wants to make to public education,” he continued.
“Minister Lecce is wrong when he says our strike action is about money. Ask any ETFO educator and they will tell you that lack of supports for children with special needs, large class sizes and the violent incidents occurring in classrooms due to lack of supports for students with unique learning needs are the reasons they are willing to go on strike.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers, and education professionals across the province.