Northeast school boards brace for teacher walkouts
Daycare centres expecting to get busier
The District School Board Ontario North East has cancelled classes for its elementary students on Monday — and the next move is up to the Minister of Education.
Elementary teachers told the board Wednesday they would hold a one-day walkout on Monday.
The board, which operates between Temagami and Hearst, responded by cancelling classes.
A spokesperson with the union representing elementary teachers said she believes the Minister of Education could prevent the union from walking out before Monday by using Bill 115 to block the strike action.
"That … would send a strong message to us ... and to the Ontarians across the province that this minister is not following our democratic rights," Monica Rusnak said.
The chair of the school board, Doug Shearer, said if the minister were to use Bill 115 to block the walkouts, the board would run classes as usual.
In Sudbury, elementary teachers at the Rainbow District School Board in Sudbury will start job action on Monday, but haven't committed to a walkout. But the possibility has the board — and even local daycares — preparing for all possibilities.
If elementary teachers with the Rainbow board walk off the job, daycares like Laurentian Child and Family Centre in Sudbury will have to accommodate more children.
"We're certainly in the process right now of looking at our schedules," said Kandis Stoughton, director of the daycare.
"[We’re] looking at our supply pools ... we'll have to pull in some supply staff."
Daycares operated on school property will still be available and will be able to accommodate students for the full day.
The director of education with the Rainbow District School Board said the board is also preparing for other scenarios, such as teachers stopping lunch or recess supervision, for instance.
"So we're trying to establish all kinds of situations and scenarios that might be put forward," Norm Blaseg said. "And we'll react to that accordingly."
Blaseg said the union and the board are still working on a deal and will meet tonight and tomorrow.