Elementary teachers in Waterloo Region to hold one-day strike on Tuesday
Published Saturday, December 15, 2012 1:06PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2012 12:24PM EST
Elementary teachers with the Waterloo District School Board will stage a one-day strike on Tuesday, December 18th, along with seven other public school boards.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario issued a statement Saturday morning, giving the promised 72 hours notice to parents and students.
The union says teachers, occasional teachers and designated early childhood educators (DECEs) from Toronto, Durham, Peel, Greater Essex, Near North, Grand Erie, and Lambton-Kent boards will also be off the job on Tuesday. All public elementary schools and board-run extended care programs will be closed.
“We simply won’t have the people and personnel in the schools to provide the supervision that would allow us to ensure a safe and secure environment for the students,” said Mark Schinkel of the Waterloo Region District School Board.
The walkouts are in protest to Bill 115, a controversial law that allows the government to stop strikes, freeze wages and cut benefits.
“To date, the education minister has yet to do anything to assist local school boards in pursuing fair and respectful negotiations with our members,” said Sam Hammond, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in a statement. “[Laurel Broten] can end the chaos she has created by repealing Bill 115 and letting local bargaining proceed without interference.”
“It really is to get the government’s attention to get them back to the process we’ve had for decades so we can move forward together,” said Greg Weiler, president of the Waterloo Region Teacher Local.
Teachers in the Hamilton area are set to walk out on Monday, along with three school boards in northern Ontario.
On Friday, 750 teachers at the Upper Grand District School Board picketed outside office of Guelph MPP Liz Sandals, a former school board trustee.
“I’m obviously very sad that the relationship has broken down,” she said. “I still think what we really need to do it get everybody back to the table and talking.”
Teachers also the picketed the offices of MPPs in Orangeville and Fergus.
Meanwhile frustrated students in Cambridge also took action on Friday, walking out of their classrooms.
-- With files from The Canadian Press