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ETFO to ‘escalate’ rotating strikes if central agreements not reached

Update (Monday, Feb. 3, 2019): According to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the union is escalating its provincial rotating strikes this week.

The ETFO announced that it would engage in rotating one-day strikes each day of the week, with a province-wide strike on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. This came after “mediated discussions” between the union, school board associations and the provincial government, which had resumed on Wednesday, Jan. 29, “broke down” late on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.

Here in Kingston, that means there will be no classes for elementary or intermediate students within the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) on Thursday, Feb. 6, the day of the province-wide strike, nor on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, the day the LDSB was selected for a one-day strike as part of the rotating strikes.

Original article:

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced today it will be escalating its provincial rotating strikes beginning Monday, Feb. 3 should central agreements not be reached by the end of this week.

The announcement was made on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, and outlines where strike action will occur next week, including a one-day province-wide strike of all 83,000 ETFO members.

“There is nothing to be gained by Minister Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government. Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come,” EFTO President Sam Hammond said in a press release.

“From ETFO’s perspective, fair contract talks must include: appropriate funding for Special Education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining our internationally recognized Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation,” Hammond continued.

“I challenge the minister to send his negotiators back to the table to address these issues because in four months of talks from August through December 2019, his negotiators had no mandate to discuss them.”

If central agreements are not reached by Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, the union will escalate its rotating strikes as follows:

Monday, Feb. 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards.

Tuesday, Feb. 4: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Peel, Rainbow, Thames Valley and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority.

Wednesday, Feb. 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre.

Thursday, Feb. 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members.

Friday, Feb. 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo and York Region school boards as well as Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities.

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