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Ontario high school teachers’ union plans third one-day strike next week
Striking teachers of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation walk the picket line outside of Northern Secondary School in Toronto, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
TORONTO -- High school teachers and education workers announced Friday they are planning to hold another one-day strike next week if a deal cannot be reached with the government.
It would be the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation’s third one-day walkout since months-long talks with the provincial government soured last month.
The high school teachers’ union said 10 different boards will be affected by the job action Wednesday, Dec. 18, including:
- The York Region District School Board
- The York Catholic District School Board
- The Halton District School Board,
The union said the dispute is over the government’s intention to cut one out four public high school teachers from the system, to impose e-learning on students and to cut thousands of support staff.
“We have seen no change in the minister of education’s agenda of increasing class sizes, forcing e-learning on our high school students, and continuing the funding cuts,” the union’s president Harvey Bischof said.
“We’re obligated to provide five days of notice in advance of any work action, and that is what we are doing today.”
Meanwhile, the government has condemned the one-day strikes, saying they harm students and families.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said previously that the main driving force of the disagreements is the issue of wages.
Although the one-day strike is planned, the government and the union confirmed Wednesday they would hold new talks early next week.
“We are hopeful that the minister is ready to get serious about bargaining next week, to come to the table in good faith,” Bischof said in a news release.