Mississauga schools to close for two strikes next week

 

The rotating one-day teachers' strikes that have been temporarily closing schools are set to continue next week.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) recently announced that it will continue its strike action next week, having sent five-day notices to school boards and authorities across the province. 

All Peel District School Board (PDSB) elementary schools have already been closed to students in kindergarten through to grade 8 on different days, with the most recent strikes taking place on Jan. 31 and Feb. 4. Another one-day walk-out is scheduled for tomorrow (Feb. 6). 

PDSB schools will also be closed Feb. 11 and 13 if no agreement is reached. 

"ETFO's 83,000 public elementary school educators will be on the picket lines again next week in the hope that the [Doug] Ford government and Education Minister [Stephen] Lecce will return to talks prepared to support public education," said ETFO President Sam Hammond in a statement.

"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; and fair hiring practices."

The province says that teachers are demanding significant salary increases. 

“Over the past few days, the government has further demonstrated our focus on keeping kids in class through a voluntary agreement. As part of that commitment, and to further underscore my public statements, we have affirmed in writing that we will be maintaining Ontario’s world-class kindergarten program," Lecce said in a Jan. 31 statement. 

"I have long said that compensation, pay, and benefits, remain a top priority for teachers’ union leaders, and that remains true today. Even following our formal commitment to one of their publicly-stated priorities, ETFO leadership continues to advance compensation for their members over the protection of the education system for our youngest learners." 

On Feb. 10, one-day strikes will affect the following school boards: Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic (designated early childhood educators only), Halton, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Rainbow, Thames Valley, Upper Canada and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children's School Authority.

On Feb. 11, there will be a one-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members.

On Febr. 12, one-day strikes will affect the following boards: Algoma, Greater Essex, Limestone, Niagara, Renfrew County, Toronto, Toronto Catholic (designated early childhood educators only) and Waterloo school boards, Moosonee and Moose Factory District School Authorities and Bloorview, John McGivney Children's Centre, KidsAbility and Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre School Authorities.

On Feb. 13, one-day strikes will affect the following boards: Bluewater, Grand Erie, Hamilton-Wentworth, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Ontario North East, Ottawa-Carleton, Peel, Penetanguishene, Protestant Separate, Simcoe County, Superior-Greenstone, Trillium Lakelands and York Region School Boards, and Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre.

On Feb. 14, one-day strikes will affect the following boards: Kawartha Pine Ridge, Near North and Rainy River School Boards.

The PDSB is also reminding parents that all elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students on Feb. 7 for a Ministry-approved Professional Learning (PL) day. Parents do not need to report their child’s absences on strike or PL days.

Schools will also be closed on Family Day (Feb. 17).

During these one-day ETFO strikes:

  • Full-day child care programs (i.e. infant, toddler and preschool programs) will run.
  • Before- and after-school programs are not operated by the Peel board. Some 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 be able to run programs. Please check with your child care provider directly.
  • EarlyOn/Child & Family Learning Centres (CFLC) programs hosted in elementary schools will not be open.
  • Evening permits will continue as usual in both elementary and secondary schools.

“If an agreement is reached, we will communicate with families. As changes in strike action can happen at any time, it is important that you stay connected,” the PDSB said in a statement. 

ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.

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