Participating in a total shutdown of the primary and secondary school system, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) will hold in a joint one-day strike across Ontario February 21st if there’s no breakthrough in contract talks with the provincial government.
Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to strike escalation by the four teachers’ unions (OSSTF, ETFO, OECTA, AEFO): “Our focus is on keeping students in class, as they deserve better. That is why I am calling on the teachers’ union leaders to accept private mediation today and end this needless escalation.
Parents are losing patience with the disruption in their lives, the inconsistency in their children’s education, and the financial impact of scrambling for child care. That is why we have offered financial assistance through the Support for Parents initiative, which has seen an immense uptake of more than 575,000 applications. While union leaders are organizing further disruption, our government remains focused on getting deals at the bargaining table through private mediation. We’ve made very significant moves on our position, but union leadership hasn’t moved on substantial items – like their already generous benefits packages and maintaining hiring based on seniority rather than on merit.
Parents and students deserve no less.”