Waterloo Region teachers get set for one-day strike
Published Monday, December 17, 2012 5:58PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 17, 2012 6:18PM EST
More than 100 elementary schools in Waterloo Region will be shut down Tuesday as elementary school teachers bring their rotating one-day strikes to the Waterloo Region District School Board.
Greg Weiler, president of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario’s Waterloo Region chapter, says the provincial government is at fault for putting teachers into a position where strikes are necessary to get their message out.
“Bill 115 has put everyone in a position of not knowing what the case will be after Dec. 31. That’s really contributed to things being escalated in a short time period,” he says.
CTV surveyed Waterloo Region school trustees, asking whether they supported the strike action. Of those who responded, most said it was not their place to weigh in on the dispute.
Kitchener trustee Mike Ramsay was the only one to give a firm opinion, saying he’s against the strikes, which he says hurt students and parents.
Among local parents, the reaction is mixed, particularly with the strike coming only a few days after the shooting in Newtown, CT.
“[Teachers should] have the basic decency to at least wait a few weeks in sympathy for their American counterparts,” says Jeremy Johnson.
Grandmother Sharie Haodja has a different opinion, saying extra time with families might be a good idea after the events in Newtown.
“Well, you know all this that’s happening. I think it’s nice for everybody to have a break with their kids,” she says.”
The ETFO says they have no plans to postpone the so-called ‘Super Tuesday’ of strikes at eight school boards across the province, also including the Grand Erie District School Board in the Brantford area.
The union has also announced which schools will be affected by one-day strikes later in the week. For Thursday, that list includes the Thames Valley District School Board, which covers the counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford, including London, Woodstock and St. Thomas.
Although buses and taxis are cancelled for Waterloo Region District School Board elementary schools Tuesday, the day will go on as scheduled for high school and Catholic school students.