Toronto

Elementary schools may combine classes as teachers' strikes ramp up, TDSB says

Teachers and education workers with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario recently began Phase 6 of their ongoing strike action.

Move may be necessary if teachers are absent and no one can cover their classes, says board

Ontario elementary school teachers were set to begin picketing outside their schools for at least 20 minutes a day once a week. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Elementary schools might need to combine classes in some locations as ongoing strikes by teachers continue.

Starting Wednesday, Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (EFTO) teachers were set to begin picketing outside their schools for at least 20 minutes a day once a week. The teachers also ramped up their campaign by not covering a class for an absent colleague if a supply teacher could not be found.

If a teacher is absent and no one is available to cover their class, it might be necessary to combine classes in libraries or gyms "to ensure proper supervision and student safety," the Toronto School District Board said in a press release Friday.

"Most students will likely not see any impact in their classroom," the release said.

Teachers and education workers with ETFO recently began Phase 6 of their ongoing strike action.

Elementary teachers say their key issues include guaranteeing the future of full-day kindergarten, securing more funding to hire special education teachers, and maintaining seniority hiring rules. 

The teachers' union is one of several in ongoing labour disputes with Premier Doug Ford's government. Should no tentative agreement be reached, the union says it is prepared to further escalate its job action on March 9.

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