Guelph teachers stage one-day strike; Waterloo Region could be hit Tuesday
Published Thursday, December 13, 2012 6:26PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 14, 2012 7:13PM EST
Rotating teachers’ strikes hit the Guelph area Friday, with Upper Grand District School Board teachers protesting outside the office of Guelph MPP Liz Sandals.
Several teachers say they had previously voted for Sandals provincially and won’t do it again, but Sandals, a former school board trustee, said she has a similar goal to that of the teachers’ unions who simply want to return to negotiations.
“I’m obviously very sad that the relationship has obviously broken down. I still think what we really need to do is get everybody back to the table and talking,” she told CTV.
More than 1,200 teachers from 60 schools took part in the one-day job action in Wellington and Dufferin Counties, while schools in Barrie and Peterborough were also shut down due to strikes.
"It's been tense for us, but all of us have been saying it's amazing how once you start to work to rule, you realize just how strung out you are everyday," said Sheila Koop, a Grade 6 teacher.
Liz Ashworth, a French teacher at Willow Road Public School, says she’s striking to help today’s children, not to hurt them.
“I’m here for some of my students who want to be teachers. I’m doing it for myself and for them,” she says.
Upper Grand elementary teachers also picketed in Fergus and Orangeville.
In Fergus, teacher Julie Birken sang protest songs to the tune of Christmas carols and said action will continue until Bill 115 is repealed.
Meanwhile, the Waterloo Region District School Board has announced that they believe Waterloo Region teachers will take part in a one-day strike on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
A letter to parents was sent home with students today outlining the effects of a potential strike.
The Waterloo Region ETFO says a strike will happen one day next week, but would not confirm which day. The union says it will give 72 hours notice of any strike.
The Dec. 18 date has not been confirmed by the ETFO, which has said it will give 72 hours notice of any strikes.
“We are anticipating a full day of withdrawal at some point next week. We know it won’t be Monday. It could be any day after Monday,” said Waterloo Region EFTO president Greg Weiler.
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