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Ontario elementary teachers threaten rotating strikes in coming weeks

Ontario's elementary school teachers are set to launch a series of rotating strikes beginning Jan. 20 if they can't reach a labour deal with the provincial government.

Educators will not supervise extra-curriculars or field trips starting Monday

Sam Hammond, ETFO President, said the Ford government is not backing down from its planned $150 million cut to public elementary education. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

Ontario's elementary school teachers say they will launch a series of rotating strikes beginning Jan. 20 if there is no significant progress is contract talks with the provincial government.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) said its members will also begin work-to-rule action on Monday, Jan. 13.

The union said the moves are necessary because the province has not made any concessions at the bargaining table.

"This government's approach to education sector contract talks is a sham," said ETFO president Sam Hammond in a statement. "The government representatives have confirmed that they have no mandate to negotiate issues beyond cuts."

Educators will not supervise extra-curricular activities or participate in field trips in the first stage of the job action.

Hammond says key issues are more supports for students with special needs, addressing violence in schools and preserving full-day kindergarten.

Elementary teachers are also seeking higher wage increases than the government's offer.

The teachers have been staging an administrative work-to-rule campaign since November, and they say they will ramp it up starting Monday by no longer supervising extracurricular activities.

Ontario's secondary school teachers began rotating strikes in December.

The union representing Catholic teachers also began a work-to-rule campaign earlier this week.

With files from The Canadian Press

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