Striking Sudbury teachers rally at Rainbow board office
Sudbury's English public high school teachers have been walking picket lines for a week
About 500 striking Sudbury high school teachers left their picket lines Monday to rally in front of the Rainbow District School Board office.
Members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation marched from the Steelworkers Hall on Brady Street to the Rainbow District School Board building on Young Street for the rally.
"This is a result of months and months of frustration at the bargaining table," said James Clyke, District 3 president for the OSSTF. "This rally is to bring attention to the inertia in the bargaining process."
High school teachers with Sudbury's Rainbow District School Board took to the picket lines on April 27 after local talks with the board failed.
The Rainbow board said days have been scheduled in mid-May for more talks and it is waiting on the union to confirm it will return to the local bargaining table. The union has said it's willing to return to talks as soon as the board shows movement on key issues.
Working conditions and professional judgement in the classroom are some of the sticking points, Clyke said.
Provincial talks break down
Contract negotiations with teachers are also happening at the provincial level for larger issues such as compensation and class size. The union that represents teachers said Monday that talks have also broken down at that level.
"The provincial level equally frustrating. Talks just broke down last night about midnight and until there's a reason to reconvene we are in a bit of a hiatus," said Shelley Page, one of the provincial negotiators for OSSTF who travelled to Sudbury for Monday's rally.
Two other locals of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation are also on strike over issues at their local bargaining tables. Teachers in Durham have been walking picket lines since April 20, and teachers in Peel went on strike May 4.