What you should know about today's teacher strikes

Over two million students will be out of class this Friday as Ontario's four largest teacher unions plan to hold a joint one-day strike if there is no progress in contract talks with the provincial government.

4 Ontario teacher unions holding joint walkout on Friday

An ETFO picket in Old Ottawa South Feb. 11, 2020. Ontario's four main education unions will team up for a joint one-day strike this Friday. (Francis Ferland/CBC)

The basics:

  • No school Monday for Family Day.
  • No school Friday for most elementary and high school students across the province.
  • There were no strikes Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

Over two million students are out of class this Friday as Ontario's four largest teacher unions plan to hold a joint one-day strike.

The unions that will participate in Friday's strike are the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF), the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (OECTA) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO).

Classes were also cancelled on Monday for Family Day. 

Negotiations at a standstill

Contract negotiations between the Progressive Conservative government and the education unions have largely stalled with several major issues unresolved, including the role of seniority in hiring practices, class sizes, funding for students with special education needs and mandatory e-learning.

The unions are also asking for around two per cent in annual salary increases, while the government won't budge beyond offering one per cent.

It passed legislation last year capping wage hikes for all public sector workers at one per cent for three years. The teachers' unions and several others are fighting the law in court, arguing it infringes on collective bargaining rights.

See below for a list of eastern Ontario school closures for the upcoming week. Make sure to visit your school board's website for the most up-to-date information.

Monday Feb. 17

Schools will be closed for Family Day.

Friday Feb. 21

Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

All OCDSB schools will be closed.

Extended Day programs and all Community Use of School permits will also be cancelled.

Ottawa Catholic School Board

All OCSB schools will be closed, unless an agreement is reached between the province and OECTA. All bus and van transportation will also be cancelled.

Before- and after-school programs will be cancelled for the day, although all Ottawa Catholic Child Care Corporation Toddler and Preschool programs and all EarlyOn Centres will be open and will operate according to their regular hours.

Community Use of Schools programming is not affected by the one-day provincial strike. 

Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario 

All CDSBEO elementary and secondary schools will be closed to students.

Parents who have children that attend child care or before- and after-school care programs in CDSBEO facilities should contact their individual provider for details during the strike.

Upper Canada District School Board

All UCDSB students will have the day off as schools are closed. 

Parents and guardians whose children attend a child-care facility at a UCDSB school should contact their child-care provider with any questions.

Boards across the province have cancelled classes on Friday, as teachers take part in an Ontario-wide one-day strike. (Raphael Tremblay/CBC)

Renfrew County District School Board

All elementary and secondary schools will be closed.

Child-care facilities may continue to operate. Parents and guardians should contact their operator to confirm whether they will remain open and if they'll have additional child-care spaces during strike days. 

Community-use bookings will continue as usual.

Limestone District School Board

All elementary and secondary schools will be closed, and students in Grades 9 to 12 should not attend school. This includes students in co-op and those attending dual credit and programs at St. Lawrence College.

Literacy and Basic Skills, Adult ESL and Teacher Assisted Self-Study programs will also not run.

Extra-curricular activities, field trips and all sports sanctioned by the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association will be cancelled.

Hastings-Prince Edward District School Board 

Classes are cancelled for all students.

Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board 

All ALCDSB schools will be closed to students.

Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario

Classes and school transportation will be cancelled. 

Before- and after-school programs for toddlers, preschoolers and children ages four to 12 will not operate.

For daycare services operated by a third party, parents and guardians should contact the child-care service to check if they will remain open. Programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers offered by third-party partners will be open.

Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est 

All classes will be cancelled.

Daycare centres for preschool children will remain open, except for l'Académie catholique Notre-Dame and l'École élémentaire catholique L'Envol, both of which will be closed.

Parents of school-aged children who require child care should contact their provider to learn if those centres will remain open.

All EarlyON Centres will be closed with the exception of:

  • l'École élémentaire catholique Jean-Robert-Gauthier.
  • l'École élémentaire catholique Des Voyageurs.
  • l'École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges.
  • le Centre scolaire catholique Jeanne-Lajoie.

Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien

All schools will be closed.

Daycares in its schools will stay open and before- and after-school programs will run except for:

  • The Municipality of Russell,
  • Le Jardin des câlins,
  • and le Centre Culturel Les trois petits points.

With files from The Canadian Press


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