The spokesperson for Thunder Bay public high school teachers says education minister Laurel Broten is responsible for the teachers’ withdrawal from participating in all extracurricular activities.

The job action is scheduled to start Monday as part of a province-wide ramping-up of sanctions by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation. 

"The minister of education refuses to back down from this oppressive legislation [and] teachers have had enough," said Paul Caccamo, head of the OSSTF in the city.

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A spokesperson for Thunder Bay public high school teachers blames Education Minister Laurel Broten for creating "chaos in schools." (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

"They are simply not willing to volunteer their own time in pursuit of providing program enhancements in schools."

The work-to-rule sanction that begins next week will affect voluntary teacher participation in a range of activities including athletics, clubs and field trips.

'It was going to come to this'

Caccamo said he's received a number of supportive calls from parents.

"That was certainly appreciated," he said. "I think everybody recognizes that if the minister wasn't going to soften her approach to managing this file ... it was going to come to this ... I don't think this is coming as a great big surprise to most people."

Caccamo said teachers will arrive 15 minutes before the start of their work day, and leave 15 minutes after it ends.

"When we predicted that her bill was going to create chaos in schools, she certainly has that chaos now," Caccamo added. "And she certainly has an opportunity to back off from interfering in our negotiated process."