Teacher strike action expands this week

Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation District 26 members walk the picket line outside of South Grenville District High School in Prescott during their one-day walkout on January 15th. – Leader photo

SOUTH DUNDAS – English-Catholic schools across the province including schools in the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario will be affected by a one-day strike action on Tuesday, January 21st.

The planned one-day strike is the first for the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association in 20 years. Unless a labour deal between the province and the union is reached, Catholic elementary and secondary schools including St. Mary-St. Cecilia in Morrisburg, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Ingleside, and St. Joseph Catholic Secondary in Cornwall, will be closed for the day. OECTA represents teachers and support staff at the elementary and secondary levels.

Last week, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation members struck Upper Canada District School Board schools with a one-day walkout January 15th. Secondary students were unable to attend school on that day. The union has said that while more walkouts are planned, no action will occur during the semester one exam period. Exams begin for UCDSB students on January 24th.

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario will begin rotating one-day strikes on Monday, January 20th. Starting last Wednesday, the union has announced new strikes for each day for the week of January 20-24. As of January 19th, no strike action has been announced for UCDSB elementary schools for this coming week. Strike action will occur if no labour agreement has been reached.

Education Minister Stephen Leece announced last week a plan to compensate parents for daycare expenses relating to schools closed due to strike action. Parents can claim up to $60 per child for elementary school (J/K to Grade 8)  daycare, and $40 per child for special needs children (Ages 4-21). There was no compensation offered for secondary school students.

The next round of ETFO strike announcements will be announced January 22nd.

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