Teachers picket outside Ford plant

Members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association picket outside of the Ford Engine Plant where Premier Ford was rumoured to be Tuesday, January 21, 2020. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

Members of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association were hoping to deliver a message directly to Premier Doug Ford Tuesday afternoon.

A group of around 20 teachers, labour leaders, and supporters picketed outside the Ford Windsor Engine plant where Premier Ford was expected to tour.

“It’s time for the Ford government to actually sit down, talk to Mr. Lecce, get him back in the offices, into the rooms and get negotiations going,” said Darryl Fanick with OECTA. “We want to talk, we want to make sure that education happens for our students, we want to be back in our classrooms. We don’t want to be here right now but if we need to be here in front of an automotive plant to have a conversation with Mr. Ford if he’ll even talk to us, then we’re here to do that.”

Members of OECTA picketed outside schools across the province as part of a one-day strike Tuesday. The union is one of four education unions currently engaged in job action.

Fanick said teachers in Windsor-Essex are fighting for small class sizes and against proposed cuts to education.

“We know that the cuts will have devastating effects, especially for our students with special needs, for our kindergarten students, class sizes are a huge issue for us,” said Fanick.

English Catholic teachers will be back in the classroom Wednesday. No other school closures are scheduled for the Windsor-Essex area for the remainder of the week.