The union representing Ontario’s elementary school teachers has confirmed that teachers in Toronto along with other districts will hold a one-day strike in protest of Bill 115 on Tuesday.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said Saturday that elementary teachers in Toronto, Peel, Durham, Waterloo Regions, Grand Erie, Greater Essex County, Near North, and Lambton-Kent are joining the wave of walkouts that started last week.
The Tuesday strike will involve Ontario’s largest school district boards. Teachers in Hamilton and three other district school boards are also holding a one-day strike on Monday.
Unions representing the teachers say Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act, denies teachers’ fundamental rights as it gives the government the power to end strikes and impose a collective agreement.
ETFO members voted in favour of one-day strikes earlier this month and elementary teachers in different districts in the province have been walking off the job over the past week.
“As the largest school board in the province, this is not an action that our members take lightly,” Martin Long, president of the Elementary Teachers of Toronto (ETT), said in a statement.
“We have been forced into this action by an education minister who has willfully stripped educators of their legal right to collectively bargain.”
Premier Dalton McGuinty has said that ETFO is disagreeing with the bill over the teachers’ pay and has called the strikes “unfortunate.”
“These actions place students squarely in the middle of a dispute between ETFO and this government—a dispute that we believe ETFO should pursue in the courts against the government, not in our classrooms against our students,” McGuinty said in a statement.
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