Elementary teachers to hold Ontario-wide walkouts once a week if contract talks do not resume: ETFO

ETFO plans province-wide walkouts
WATCH ABOVE: Starting in February, job action could mean elementary students in Ontario are out of class twice due to continued job action. Travis Dhanraj has more.

The union representing Ontario elementary school teachers has announced it will begin once-a-week province-wide walkouts beginning Feb. 6 if contract talks with the government do not resume.

On Monday, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) issued a release saying the union will “escalate its rotating strikes across the province beginning Monday, Feb. 3, if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.”

READ MORE: Ontario teachers’ strikes: A timeline of key events and actions taken so far

“There is nothing to be gained by Minister [Stephen] Lecce avoiding meaningful and fair contract talks other than further damaging the reputation of the Ford government,” ETFO president Sam Hammond said in a press release. “Educators and parents are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”

The ETFO said previously that contract talks between the union and the Ford government have stalled due to issues such as class sizes and online education. However, Lecce said compensation is the primary sticking point.

Both sides have not been at the bargaining table since December.

READ MORE: Where are Ontario teachers striking next?

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The ETFO said the following walkouts will take place if an agreement is not reached by Jan. 31:

Feb. 3: One-day strikes in Bluewater, Grand Erie, Halton, Ontario North East, Renfrew County, Superior Greenstone and Trillium Lakelands school boards

Feb. 4: One-day strikes in Avon Maitland, Durham, Durham Catholic, Hastings-Prince Edward, Lambton Kent, Peel, Rainbow, Thames Valley and Upper Grand school boards and Campbell Children’s School Authority

Feb. 5: One-day strikes in Kawartha Pine Ridge, Keewatin-Patricia, Lakehead, Near North, Ottawa-Carleton, Penetanguishene Protestant Separate, Rainy River, Simcoe County and Upper Canada school boards and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre

Feb. 6: One-day strike of all 83,000 ETFO members

Feb. 7: One-day strikes in Algoma, Greater Essex County, Hamilton-Wentworth, Limestone, Niagara, Toronto, Toronto Catholic, Waterloo Region and York Region school boards as well as Bloorview, John McGivney Children’s Centre, KidsAbility, Moosonee, Moose Factory and Niagara Peninsula Children’s Centre school authorities

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