Sudbury

Students won't be hurt by work-to-rule: Sudbury local union president

The president of the Sudbury local of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says the planned work-to-rule strike action will have no impact on students.

"Anything that has to do with the Ministry of Education, the school board, will not occur," says Barb Blasutti

"This strike action is not going to affect students, or their learning or their safety," says Barb Blasutti, president of the Rainbow Teacher Local with the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario. It represents 650 public elementary school teachers in Sudbury, Espanola and Manitoulin. (Shutterstock)

The president of the Sudbury local of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario says planned work-to-rule strike action will have no impact on students.

The ETFO announced on Wednesday that its members will work-to-rule beginning November 26 if a contract deal with the province isn't reached.  

Barb Blasutti, president of the Rainbow Teacher Local with the ETFO, said the job action is targeted at school administration and the Ministry of Education. 

Speaking about what jobs teachers will refuse to perform, Blasutti said, "it is extracurricular activities that would involve meetings with Ministry officials, or meetings with school board officials, that kind of thing... will not occur."

Barb Blasutti. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

"With respect to report cards," she continued, "what you will see is that of course members are going to continue to teach and assess ... so ... teachers will be handing in to the school administrator a class list with marks."

"This strike action is not going to affect students, or their learning or their safety."

But, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said even a partial withdrawal of services "hurts our kids."

The province and the education unions started negotiating on tense terms a few months ago amid government moves to increase class sizes. Recent legislation to cap wage increases for public sector workers has further angered teachers.

ETFO president Sam Hammond said the main issues in these negotiations include preserving full-day kindergarten, addressing violence in schools, and better supporting special needs students. 

Education Minister Stephen Lecce has said compensation is the major issue for the union. 

With files from the Canadian Press