TORONTO -- Thousands of Ontario public high school teachers will begin a work-to-rule campaign next week amid faltering contract talks with the Progressive Conservative government.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) said teachers will start "information pickets" before and after school on Nov. 26 to distribute information to parents and the public about the "Ford government's destructive plans" for the education system. 

"They have simply refused to acknowledge the devastating effect that increased class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and the loss of thousands of teacher and support staff positions will have on the province’s students," OSSTF President Harvey Bischof said of the Ford government. 

The union promises that job action will have "no effect" on students but that school administration and the ministry of education would be impacted. 

Here are some of the duties members have been told to stop performing:

  • Participation in EQAO preparation or testing
  • Completion/Submission of Ministry of Education Data Reports
  • Participation in School Board Professional Activities that are based on Ministry of Education or School Board Initiatives
  • Participation in unpaid staff meetings outside the regular school day
  • Providing comments on any secondary provincial report cards 

The announcement comes on the same day Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced a reversal of its mandatory e-learning policy – a move designed to appeal to the union to sign a new contract.

High school students will be forced to enroll in two online courses, instead of the previously announced four, and will be given more course options beginning in Sept. 2020.  

OSSTF’s work-to-rule campaign will coincide with similar job action being launched by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on Nov 26.

ETFO has told teachers not to take part in any professional learning outside of school hours and to stop preparing report cards for students.