Elementary teachers are set to walk off the job this week in two additional Ontario school boards.
The newly announced day-long strikes will occur Wednesday at schools in the Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board, Lakehead District School Board, as well as in the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, as was previously confirmed.
Those will follow single-day strikes in the Avon Maitland and Ontario North East school districts on Monday, as well as strikes in the Niagara region and in the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board in northern Ontario on Tuesday.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, which represents more than 76,000 teachers and education professionals, says the walkouts have been called in protest of Bill 115 – the controversial legislation that gives the provincial government the power to quash strikes.
Ellen Chambers, the president of the ETFO Lakehead Teacher Local, said there is no option but to send the government a message because of Bill 115's limits on local collective bargaining.
"This action is directed to the government because we are unable to reach any real negotiated contract," she said.
ETFO has said that the series of one-day strikes will affect all public elementary schools in Ontario before the start of the Christmas holidays.
Chambers said she hopes the three days' notice, which was given for the Lakehead schools and the other pending strikes, will give parents time to make other arrangements for their children.
"I'm expecting that there will certainly be a mixed reaction, however we are following the Labour Relations Act. We have a legal right to strike," Chambers said.