Ontario elementary teachers strike action to escalate, union says

Ontario public school elementary teachers will escalate their strike action to "prod" the government, the union announced Friday.

Schools remain open, but teachers won't attend meetings or workshops

Members of ETFO and other teachers' groups rallied outside the constituency office of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in Toronto in May. (Stephanie Matteis/CBC)

Teachers in Ontario's public elementary schools will escalate their strike action to "prod" the government, their union announced Friday.

Teachers and occasional teachers will further withdraw from ministry meetings and workshops, as well as mandated meetings with principals, said the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario, which represents some 76,000 teachers.

The latest round of job action, which will begin on June 1, is administrative in nature and will have minimal impact on students, the union said.

Friday's announcement comes two weeks after earlier job action was implemented, in which teachers will not work on standardized testing, add written comments on report cards, or attend staff and other meetings.

"We are increasing this strike action because of the obstinacy of the government and OPSBA (Ontario Public School Boards' Association) in addressing real issues that affect teachers and the learning conditions in our schools," the union said in a statement.​

ETFO launched its work-to-rule campaign, which affects all 32 of Ontario's English public school boards, in early May, following eight months of unsuccessful negotiations with the province and local school boards. 

The union added that it will continue to escalate strike actions into the coming school year as necessary.

ETFO's collective agreements have been expired for nine months. 

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