/NewsNewsOntario public elementary teachersvote 98 per cent in favour of strike action

NewsNewsOntario public elementary teachersvote 98 per cent in favour of strike action

Ontario public elementary teachersvote 98 per cent in favour of strike action

By Staff

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario members have voted 98 per cent in favour of central strike action said president Sam Hammond in an announcement made this morning.

“Talks have stalled at ETFO’scentral bargaining tables” he said on Nov. 1.“This is a wakeup call from our members to this government to getserious about key issues affecting educators and students includingmore supports for special education class size and class structurefair and transparent hiring practices and preservation of thecurrent kindergarten program.”

Hammond said it was an “overwhelmingmandate” from ETFO members and that a conciliator would meet withthe ETFO and other parties at the central bargaining tables on Nov.4. No job action has been announced yet.

In response to the ETFO strike voteannouncement Stephen Lecce Minister of Education said in a statement “While our government has been a reasonable andconstructive force at the bargaining table – focused on keeping kidsin class – today ETFO has taken another escalating step towards astrike which will disproportionately hurt our kids.”

Lecce said “strike action caused byunions could mean school closures disruption and uncertainty forstudents and parents.”

“I support a deal not a strike”he said. “Our team remains unequivocal in our determination to landdeals with our labour partners as soon as possible to keep our kidsin the classroom.”

ETFO represents 83000 elementarypublic school teachers occasional teachers and educationprofessionals across the province.

Last month a last-minute deal wasreached between the province and the Canadian Union of PublicEmployees which represents about 55000 education workers in theprovince averting a full strike poised to proceed on Oct. 7. TheOntario Secondary School Teachers' Federation representing 60000members is holding strike votes from Oct. 22 to Nov. 15. The OntarioEnglish Catholic Teachers' Association representing 45000 teachersis holding strike votes this month.