What you need to know about school job actions across Hamilton Wednesday

All public high schools in Hamilton will shut down on Jan. 15 and elementary schools start rotating strikes on Jan. 20

Hamilton public high school teachers are on a one-day strike Wednesday

Schoolchildren in a B.C. classroom.
HWDSB highschool teachers will be on strike Wednesday. (CBC)

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) high school teachers are preparing for another one-day strike which takes place Wednesday as work to rule and other demonstrations disrupt schools.

All public high schools in Hamilton will shut down on Jan. 15 as part of the latest move by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF) in its negotiations with the Ford government to adjust class sizes, wages and online learning.

In high schools, all extracurricular activities, including co-op periods and any other programs off-site, will be cancelled on Jan. 15, but parents will not need to report a student absence.

Permits to use high school facilities will not be cancelled.

OSSTF also represents staff at St. Charles Adult and Continuing Education Centres, which will cancel child care programs and classes tomorrow.

Picket lines will take place at these local high schools:

  • Bernie Custis Secondary School
  • Dundas Valley Secondary School
  • Orchard Park Secondary School
  • Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School
  • Waterdown District High School
  • Westdale Secondary School
  • Westmount Secondary School

Catholic high schools will also go on strike Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Elementary schools begin job action next week

On Monday, Jan. 20, the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will begin rotating strikes and more information about affected schools will be posted on the HWDSB site closer to that date.

Jeff Sorensen, president of the Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers' Local union, could not reveal what the rotating strikes will look like, be he told CBC he is "hoping beyond hope" the government and the union reach a fair deal.

Although, ETFO will begin providing the required five-day notice to school boards in anticipation of rotating strikes starting Wednesday.

It, along with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) already started work-to-rule action yesterday, disrupting EQAO testing.

Public elementary school educators are not supervising extra-curricular activities unless they are scheduled within the regular school day nor will they plan or participate in field trips or assemblies except to supervise students.

They also won't complete report cards.

There won't be any teachers in the school until 30 minutes before the start of the instructional day and they'll be leaving within 15 minutes of the day's end.

The Association des enseignantes et enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), which represents 12,000 French-language teachers in Ontario, also announced it will begin a work-to-rule campaign on Thursday.

"We strongly urge provincial parties to reach a fair deal that honours education workers, supports learning in the classroom, and ensures entire school teams are available for our student," read a statement from Alex Johnstone, HWDSB Chair.

"Our commitment during this time of uncertainty is to ensure that curriculum is delivered and that our students continue to learn in a safe environment. Our students deserve nothing less."


Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.