One-day strike to impact local elementary, secondary schools Thursday

A number of local elementary and secondary students will not have classes on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 due to one-day strike action on the part of teachers’ unions.

Secondary school students in Kingston and the area will not have school on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 as the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) conduct another one-day walkout.

The OSSTF announced on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 that it would take part in a one-day, full withdrawal of services in select locations across the province. The nine school boards affected include the Limestone District School Board (LDSB).

According to the OSSTF, union President Harvey Bischof has repeated the Federation’s standing offer to postpone pending job actions if the government agrees to return to, and maintain, the class size ratios and staffing levels that were in place in Ontario schools during the 2018-2019 school year.

“We continue to take an approach designed to raise awareness of the issues while causing minimum disruption to learning. Sadly, our measured approach stands in stark contrast to the almost-daily stream of inflammatory statements and disinformation from the Minister of Education,” Bischof said in a statement.

“Despite the Minister’s constant misrepresentation of the issues in the public sphere, we are prepared to go back to the bargaining table as soon as the government is ready for meaningful and forthright discussions about the issues that matter to Ontario’s students and the quality of their education.”

The OSSTF has over 60,000 members across the province including public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.

In addition, OSSTF members employed by the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) at École élémentaire publique Madeleine-de-Roybon and École secondaire publique Mille-Îles will also participate in a full withdrawal of service, and there will be no school for students at those schools on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, either.

“Because of these general strike notices, classes and school transportation will be suspended in all CEPEO schools for the day [of] February 13th, as we will not be able to ensure the safety and well-being of all the students during this day. For this reason, no student will be allowed in our schools,” CEPEO said in a statement.

This means that all CEPEO’s before and after school programs for children four to 12 will also be closed on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. CEPEO’s childcare centres for toddlers and preschoolers will remain open in Kingston.

On the same day, the Association of Teachers Franco-Ontarian (AEFO) representing regular teachers as well as alternates and substitutes are also holding a general one-day strike on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, the same day of the OSSTF strike.

 “Because of these strikes, unless an agreement is reached by then, the Council of Catholic Schools Central East (CECCE) will cancel classes at all its schools on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020,” CECCE said in a statement.

That means both École élémentaire catholique Mgr-Rémi-Gaulin and École secondaire catholique Marie-Rivier here in Kingston will be closed as well on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. The CECCE job action will not impact childcare for preschool children at their schools, however, the ON center at École élémentaire catholique Mgr-Rémi-Gaulin will be closed.

More information on this from OSSTF can be found here.

More information on this from CEPEO can be found here.

More information on this from CECCE can be found here.

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