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Ontario’s public high school teachers hold 5th 1-day strike as contract talks stall

Public high schools in 16 Ontario boards closed Wednesday for 1-day strike
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario secondary school teachers walked off the job for the fifth time Wednesday as contract talks stall with the government. Miranda Anthistle reports.

TORONTO – Schools in 16 boards across Ontario will be closed today, as the union representing public high school teachers holds another one-day strike.

It is the fifth job action in the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation’s series of rotating strikes during a contentious round of bargaining with the province.

The union, which represents 60,000 teachers and education workers, began one-day walkouts on Dec. 4 with a job action that closed schools across the province.

READ MORE: Ontario high school teachers, education workers at 16 boards to hold another 1-day strike

It has followed up with weekly rotating strikes that have closed all secondary schools and some elementary schools at the affected boards. In addition to representing high school teachers, the OSSTF represents education workers at some elementary schools.

Teachers were angered when the government announced that average high school class sizes would increase and four e-learning courses would be mandatory for graduation. The government has since scaled back those proposals, but OSSTF president Harvey Bischof has said it’s not enough.

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Education Minister Stephen Lecce has repeatedly said the key sticking point is compensation, with the union demanding a roughly two-per-cent wage increase and the government offering one per cent.