Teachers to hold second walkout

osstf strike

High school teachers and other members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) will hold a second one-day walkout in Renfrew County this Wednesday, January 8.

The OSSTF announced Friday that Renfrew County will be one of eight boards across the province that will be included in a “one-day, full withdrawal of services.”

The OSSTF held a province-wide walkout December 4 and has targeted a limited number of school boards in rotating one-day walkouts since then.

OSSTF president Harvey Bischof said the union’s work-to-rule “limited withdrawal of services,” which began on November 26, will continue province-wide.

“After more than eight months of negotiations, the Minister of Education is still committed to the Doug Ford agenda of larger class sizes, mandatory e-learning, and the ongoing erosion of crucial supports and services our most vulnerable students rely on for an equitable chance to succeed,” Bischof said in a statement.

“Our job action next Wednesday will affect some school boards for one day, but the Ford government’s policies, if we are not able to reverse them, will continue to create chaos in the education system for years to come. Ontario students deserve better, and that is exactly what we’re fighting for.”

“As a new year begins, we hope the Ford government and the Minister of Education will finally be prepared to do the right thing and negotiate a deal that is good for students, good for teachers and education workers, and good for the future economy of Ontario,” Bischof said.

The Renfrew County District School Board said the walkout will mean the cancellation of all secondary school and kindergarten classes, since the OSSTF also represents the board’s early childhood educators.

The board said that “if the strike action occurs,” all night school classes, co-op placements, dual credit programs and secondary extracurricular activities will be cancelled for the day as well.

“At this time, no other job action has been announced by the OSSTF or the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO),” the board said.

“Our District will remind parents/guardians of the impending strike action with a SchoolMessenger phone call on Sunday, January 5, 2020.

“We thank you again for your patience through this process.”