Here’s how the upcoming strike will affect schools in Mississauga

 

If you have children in school in Mississauga (either public or Catholic), your child will be affected by an upcoming one-day strike. 

Yesterday (Feb. 12), the four largest education unions in Ontario, including the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA), and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) announced a one-day strike in schools across the province on Feb. 21, 2020.

Today’s (Feb. 13) one-day strike by 12,000 French teachers is the first such job action since the inception of French-language school boards in 1997.

In a statement, OECTA said this is the first time since the political protest of 1997 that teachers and education workers from Ontario's main education affiliates will all be out of their classrooms on the same day. 

OECTA says nearly 200,000 teachers and education workers will strike across 72 school boards, affecting nearly 5,000 schools across the province in protest of the government funding cuts to education.

"It is clear to all four Ontario education unions and our members that the [Doug] Ford government and Education Minister [Stephen] Lecce care nothing about students or educators and everything about taking money out of the publicly funded education system," said AEFO President Remi Sabourin in a statement. 

“To achieve their cuts, they have knowingly thrown students, families, educators and the system into chaos."

As a result of the strike, all Peel District School Board (PDSB) and Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board elementary and secondary schools will be closed to kindergarten to grade 12 students on Friday, Feb. 21. 

Parents do not need to report their child/teen’s absence on this date. 

The strikes are being held in the wake of tense contract negotiations between the unions and the province. Teachers' unions say they are protesting increases in class sizes and mandatory e-learning courses, while the province insists that non-merit based hiring practices and increased compensation are the unions' chief priorities.

“Our focus is on keeping students in class, as they deserve better. That is why I am calling on the teachers’ union leaders to accept private mediation today and end this needless escalation," Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, said in a Feb. 12 statement. 

"While union leaders are organizing further disruption, our government remains focused on getting deals at the bargaining table through private mediation. We’ve made very significant moves on our position, but union leadership hasn’t moved on substantial items - like their already generous benefits packages and maintaining hiring based on seniority rather than on merit."

The PDSB says that, on Feb. 21, full-day child care programs (such as infant, toddler and preschool programs) will still run as scheduled.

The PDSB also says that some before- and after-school program providers will run full-day programs for students who are currently enrolled in before- and after-school programs, as they would on PA Days. 

However, some providers will not run programs, so parents are encouraged to check with their child care provider directly.

EarlyOn/Child & Family Learning Centres (CFLC) programs will not be open and all co-op placements, including those taking place off school property, will be cancelled.

Dual credit programming will continue and students in dual credit programs are to report to their college locations, as previously scheduled.

Evening permits will continue as usual in both elementary and secondary schools.

With files from The Canadian Press

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