By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Friday November 30, 2012
Teachers Threaten Provincewide Strikes
A confidential report says Ontario’s education minister says she wants teachers to keep negotiating, and rotating strikes will only hurt the province’s children.
Late Wednesday the union representing all Ontario high school teachers cut off negotiations with all school boards in the province. Minister Laurel Broten says tentative agreements reached with boards like Ottawa-Carleton still need to be ratified but she believes agreements can be reached with other union locals too.
Meanwhile, unions representing elementary teachers have served notice they will impose a series of rotating, one day strikes across Ontario to put pressure on the government to give them a better contract. The unions say they will give school boards 72-hours notice to allow parents to plan alternate childcare arrangements, before they walk off the job.
“As a mother and Minister of Education, I am very disappointed to learn that our elementary school teachers will be moving to strike action,” says Broten.
Other strike action includes cancelling parent interviews, not holding holiday concerts after school hours, and scrapping field trips starting December 10.
“I’d be pretty sad if we weren’t allowed to go on field trips,” says 7-year-old student Olivia Farris. The provincial government has been embroiled in a long running dispute with Ontario teachers after it brought in legislation imposing a new contract, that also takes away the right to strike. (Source: CTV News)