Thursday strike by French teachers cancelled

Members of AEFO walking the picket line outside Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey's office. 13 February 2020. ( photo by Colin Gowdy)

A one-day walkout by Ontario’s largest French-language education union won’t happen, thanks to Mother Nature.

The AEFO, which represents teachers and education support workers at Francophone school boards across the province, has cancelled a planned one-day walkout for Thursday, due to severe winter weather in the forecast.

The union posted a notice in an email to members. The cancellation was confirmed by Conseil Scolaire Providence, the French Catholic board serving Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, as well as Mike Hinch, president of AEFO Local 63 based in LaSalle.

“Due to meteorological forecasts predicting heavy snowfall in several regions of Ontario, AEFO will cancel its walkout day this Thursday, February 27,” the notice read in French. “Be aware that cancelling this day has nothing to do with stepping back from the government and school boards, and everything to do with your safety on the picket lines. The effectiveness of the picket sites could also be compromised.”

Much of southern Ontario is under either a special weather statement or a winter storm watch.

The AEFO joined its three English-speaking counterparts – the ETFO, the OSSTF, and OECTA – last Friday for a one-day strike that gave two million Ontario students an unscheduled day off.

Barring any weather-related issues, French-language school boards will hold classes on Thursday as usual.

In a statement from the union, the AEFO said it will return to the bargaining table on Friday.