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Elementary teachers with Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board to stage 1-day strike

Teachers with ETFO picket in Toronto during a one-day strike action on Jan. 20, 2020. Jamie Mauracher / Global News

The union representing elementary teachers with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board says its members will stage a one-day strike next week.

Shirley Bell, president of the Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Teachers’ Federation, told Global News Peterborough on Thursday morning that the one-day job action is set for Tuesday, Jan. 28. The union is part of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, which has been staging one-day strikes at boards across Ontario as contract talks continue with the province. The union gave its mandatory five-day notice of job action on Thursday.

READ MORE: Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board to cancel report cards for elementary students

The move comes as the school board announced Wednesday it would not be issuing report cards for elementary students. The board said the union had directed teachers not to write comments or file the reports electronically.

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Before Christmas, high school teachers under the school board also staged a one-day strike.

The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Northumberland County and Clarington.

In response, the school board issued a statement late Thursday morning, indicating all of its elementary and intermediate schools (Grads 7-8) will be closed on Jan. 28.  Intermediate schools within secondary schools will also be closed to students. Secondary schools will remain open.

“Student safety is always our first priority,” stated board chairperson Diane Lloyd. “We do not believe we can provide safe and secure learning environments for our elementary students in the absence of teachers.
We understand and appreciate that this situation is difficult for families.”

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READ MORE: PVNC part of province-wide Catholic teacher strike

Before and after-school programs at KPR elementary schools may choose to offer full-day programming on this day, the board said. Families who are currently served by these programs should discuss with their childcare operator if they would like to access this service.

Parents may expect picketing at school sites.

“Our local teachers’ federation has indicated that parents accessing childcare facilities will not be delayed,” the board stated.

The ETFO is also planning strikes on Tuesday at Hastings-Prince Edward and Upper Grand school boards as well as Moosonee and Moose Factory Island school authorities.

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