Students and parents prepare for one-day teachers' strike
KITCHENER -- A one-day strike for public high school teachers looms as negotiations continue between the union and the province.
Talks between the Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation and the government have begun and will continue until Tuesday.
Waterloo Region District School Board has given notice that it will close both secondary and elementary schools for a potential strike on Wednesday.
The federation represents education workers for all WRDSB schools.
“Everybody knew it was happening,” said parent Noelle O’Brien. “I think a lot of the parents will support the teachers because we all know they are working with so few resources.
“We all want what’s best for our kids.”
The school board says the closure will include all evening extracurricular activities.
“I’m glad it’s only one day and not a full walk out,” said parent Rylan Cottrell. “It’s unfortunate. I have to make arrangements to take care of them that day.”
The issues at the table remain a plan to increase class sizes and a request from the province for the union to take a one per cent wage cap for three years.
“Teachers have to do what they have to do to fight for what they want,” said Cottrell. “The government will fight for what it wants and the two will come to a head.”
Mandatory e-learning course for high school students are also a stumbling block.
“Most students don’t want to take online classes because that’s not for them,” said grade 11 student Eddy Garcia. “It’s definitely not for me because I am more of a hands-on person and that’s what we usually do. We like interacting with teachers.”
The school board says they’re hopeful an agreement can be reached before the Tuesday deadline of 11:59 p.m.