GECDSB among boards targeted in Wednesday walkout

OSSTF one-day strike. December 18, 2019. (Photo courtesy of OSSTF/ via Twitter)

One of the unions embroiled in contract talks with the province has scheduled another one-day walkout, which will affect Windsor-Essex students.

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) has scheduled a job action for Wednesday, January 8. According to a release Friday afternoon by the union, the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) will be affected this time around.

In a release Saturday afternoon by the school board, officials confirmed that if an agreement is not reached and a one-day walkout occurs on Wednesday, schools will be closed to students.

Also on the list of affected schools are two Windsor elementary schools and one high school with Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, the French-language public board. They are Ecole L’Envolee, Ecole Louise-Charron and Ecole secondaire de Lamothe-Cadillac.

The union is one of several representing teachers and education workers across the province at odds with the government over a new collective bargaining agreement.

“After more than eight months of negotiations, the Minister of Education is still committed to the Doug Ford agenda of larger class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and the ongoing erosion of crucial supports and services our most vulnerable students rely on for an equitable chance to succeed,” said OSSTF President Harvey Bischof.

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce responded to the OSSTF’s plans in a statement Friday afternoon.

“Parents have been clear, strikes by unions hurt kids and investments should go to support student success, not towards enhanced compensation,” said Lecce. “We agree with Ontario parents. This is why we will continue to vigorously champion the interests of students and seek stability for parents in 2020, who are frustrated and tired of the union-led escalation that began in 2019.┬áThis continued strike action is unfair to students and their families.”

OSSTF has been under work-to-rule since November 26, 2019.

All public English and French-language school boards in Windsor-Essex are due back to class on Monday, following the Christmas-New Year break.