TORONTO – All four of Ontario’s major instructor unions will soon be holding weekly strikes after the group representing instructors in the French school system announced its intent to intensify its job actions against the provincial government.
The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) stated it will begin holding provincewide walkouts once a week starting Thursday after agreement talks with the government stalled.
AEFO has 12,000 members in the French-language elementary and high school system and had previously only been taken part in a multi-phased work-to-rule project.
Union president Remi Sabourin stated an absence of progress at the bargaining table forced AEFO to intensify to “Phase 3” to send out a message to Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative federal government.
“Stage 3 is meant to communicate to the government that we can’t simply keep staring at each other pointlessly at the bargaining table,” he said in a declaration.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s office did not immediately react to an ask for remark Friday, however the minister has actually knocked previous union escalation, prompting teachers to go back to the bargaining table to reach a contract.
AEFO’s choice establishes a week filled with labour interruptions in Ontario schools, with unions representing primary and secondary school teachers walking off the job on various days, shuttering schools across the province.
On Friday, elementary teachers were back on strike at a number of boards consisting of the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s biggest. The Elementary Educators’ Federation of Ontario resumed its turning strikes a day after a provincewide walkout.
Educators struck the picket lines in the Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Moosonee, Moose Factory, Niagara, Waterloo and York Area school boards in addition to the one in Toronto.
ETFO members at the Bloorview, John McGivney Kid’s Centre, KidsAbility, and Niagara Peninsula Kid’s Centre school authorities likewise walked off the job, in addition to early youth educators at the Toronto Catholic board.
Union president Sam Hammond has said the union was close to a deal with the federal government after 3 days of talks recently, but the province’s arbitrators all of a sudden tabled brand-new proposals at the 11th hour that ETFO could not accept.
Hammond said essential concerns include special education financing, full-day kindergarten, working with regulations and attending to class violence.
Lecce preserves that teachers are escalating strikes as a method to angle for greater salaries.
Unions are requesting for wage increases of around 2 per cent to stay up to date with inflation, however the government passed legislation last year capping wage hikes for all public sector workers at one percent for 3 years. The teachers’ unions and several others are battling the law in court, arguing it infringes on cumulative bargaining rights.
ETFO is planning another 2nd provincewide strike on Tuesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was very first released Feb. 7, 2020.
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