Elementary school students. (© Can Stock Photo / oksun70)

Elementary teachers to hold strike vote

In what could be a sign that negotiations between the Ontario government and the province’s public elementary teachers aren’t going as well as hoped, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario is going to hold a strike vote this fall.

ETFO President Sam Hammond released a statement on Wednesday that said members will hold mass meetings to talk about central bargaining issues and hold a “central strike vote.”

“Members will be asked to demonstrate their support for ETFO bargaining priorities that include more support for students with special needs, class size and class structure, the protection of Full-Day Kindergarten and fair and transparent hiring practices,” Hammond said.

Hammond added that the central strike vote will be held in late September or early October at information meetings held in each of the federation’s 76 local chapters.

“ETFO’s goal is to reach an agreement at the central bargaining table without having to take job action,” Hammond’s statement said. “It is committed to continuing negotiations at the bargaining table until a fair and reasonable collective agreement can be reached for public elementary educators in Ontario.”

ETFO’s current contract expired on August 31. The union bargains both with the Ministry of Education on larger issues like class size and with local boards on issues that can be specific to those boards.