Elementary and secondary schools to close if teacher strike occurs

Logo for the Greater Essex County District School Board. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

All schools, both elementary and secondary, with the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) will close if high school teachers and education workers hit the picket lines next week.

The school board announced the possible closures on Friday, a day after the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation (OSSTF) announced that its members would hold a one-day strike on Wednesday, December 4 if a tentative agreement is not reached with the province.

“In the event that the withdrawal of services goes ahead on December 4, the implications on student safety will require the GECDSB to close all schools [secondary and elementary] for that day only,” the school board said in a statement.

While the OSSFT only represents teachers at the secondary school level, it represents educational assistants and child and youth workers at both secondary and elementary school levels.

Contract negotiations between the province and the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation will continue over the weekend and the GECDSB is expected to issue updated information on Monday.

Secondary school teachers, as well as elementary teachers, began a work-to-rule campaign on Tuesday to put pressure on the province in contract talks with their unions.