Ontario elementary teachers increase work-to-rule campaign today

Public elementary school teachers in the province will ramp up job action today, after nine months without collective agreements.

Union to withdraw from Ministry of Education meetings and mandated meetings with principals

High schools teachers were forced back to work after their strike was ruled illegal, but elementary teachers are ramping up job action. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

Public elementary school teachers in the province will ramp up job action today, after nine months without collective agreements.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario announced the work-to-rule action last month and although schools have remained open and extracurricular activities and field trips have continued, teachers have not been performing certain administrative duties.

The union says it will further withdraw from Ministry of Education meetings, workshops and mandated meetings with principals.

The union said in a release that the action is administrative in nature and would have "minimal impact on students" with aims to "prod" the government.

Education Minister Liz Sandals has said she was disappointed with the decision for work-to-rule action, but was "encouraged" that students would remain in the classrooms.

Federation President Sam Hammond said in a statement that strike action is increasing due to the "obstinacy" of the government and the Ontario Public School Board Association, adding it was "time the government and OPSBA stopped playing games."

The federation says the school boards have made demands that would allow for increases in class size, have teachers' preparation time directed by others and compromise their ability to support student learning.

Beginning today, teachers will no longer:

  • Complete any paperwork, applications or proposals to the Ministry of Education for special grants or funding.
  • Participate in the preparation or completion of Grade 8 to Grade 9 transition reports.
  • Participate in any grade-to-grade transition meetings.
  • Complete end of year Ontario Student Record (OSR) activities including filing, sorting and completion of French cards.
  • Participate in any in-school meetings or professional learning activities on the end of year Professional Activity (PA) day.
  • Book any field trips for the 2015-16 instructional year.

The first round of the work-to-rule campaign began on May 11 as negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement with the province stalled after eight months.

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With files from CBC News


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