Elementary teacher strikes to hit three boards as contract talks resume


TORONTO -- Renewed contract talks between Ontario’s public elementary teachers and the government are entering a second day today.

The province and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario returned to the bargaining table Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 19.

The clock is ticking toward a union-imposed deadline of Friday to either get a deal or they will ramp up their strike action.
Elementary teachers have been holding one-day, rotating strikes for two weeks, but next week they are planning to walk out at each board twice a week.

They plan to hold provincewide strikes once a week -- with the first one set for Feb. 6 -- and each board will be hit by a one-day rotating strike as well.

Today’s rotating strike is targeting boards in Durham, Lambton Kent and Algoma.

Union president Sam Hammond has said he hopes the government negotiators have a mandate to remove further cuts, increase supports for students with special needs, address violence in classrooms, preserve the current kindergarten model and maintain fair and transparent hiring practices.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the government has been reasonable in amending its proposals and he hopes the union will do the same.

The Canadian Press

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