ETFO to strike province-wide again Tuesday

ETFO members picket outside Giles Campus French Immersion Public School in Windsor, February 7, 2020. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

One of Ontario teachers’ union is gearing up for another week of one-day walkouts.

All 83,000 members of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) are headed out of the classroom and onto the picket lines again Tuesday, in the latest one-day strike set to take place across Ontario. ETFO members are also set to strike an additional day this week as rotating strikes continue to affect specific school boards around the province.

ETFO President Sam Hammond said last week the union wants to make sure the provincial government understands it will not take planned education cuts lying down.

“It is clear that they are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education,” said Hammond. “The Minister [of Education Stephen Lecce] and his team must come to the table with a mandate to reach a deal that benefits students, student learning and educators.”

Lecce, for his part, stated last week that the government has always been willing to negotiate.

“Our government has put forward reasonable proposals at the negotiating table, including a commitment to maintaining full-day kindergarten,” said Lecce on Thursday. “It is deeply disappointing that parents still see repeated escalation at the expense of our students to advance higher compensation, including more generous benefit plans. We firmly believe students should be in class, and we continue to stand ready to negotiate and reach a deal Ontario students deserve.”

In addition to the province-wide action Tuesday, ETFO members will strike Wednesday in Windsor-Essex against the Greater Essex County District School Board as well as the John McGivney Centre in Windsor. Members walked the picket lines on Monday in the Lambton-Kent and Thames Valley school boards.