ONTARIO – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) announced on Nov. 8 that it received a no-board report and would be in a legal position to strike by Monday, Nov. 25.
“ETFO is fighting for investment, not cuts in education, but Doug Ford’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce isn’t listening,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “While ETFO is now in a legal position to take strike action in 17 days, we will continue to focus on contract talks in an attempt to arrive at a deal that improves student learning conditions and educator working conditions.”
ETFO requested the no board report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour on Nov. 4, for its Teacher / Occasional Teacher and Education Worker Central Bargaining Tables. A no board report can be requested if talks between negotiating labour parties break down and once received, initiate a 17 day cooling off period between the two sides.
“ETFO will keep trying to reach a fair deal during this time. It’s on the government’s shoulders to start investing in public education so that our students can succeed,” said Hammond.
On Nov. 1, the ETFO had voted 98 per cent in favour of taking strike action.
“While our Government has been a reasonable and constructive force at the bargaining table – focused on keeping kids in class – today, ETFO has taken another escalating step towards a strike which will disproportionately hurt our kids,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce at the time. “Strike action caused by unions could mean school closures, disruption, and uncertainty for students and parents. I support a deal, not a strike. Our team remains unequivocal in our determination to land deals with our labour partners as soon as possible to keep our kids in the classroom.”
The ETFO represents 83,000 teachers from across Ontario. If an agreement is not reached between the two sides in the coming weeks, elementary school teachers could be on strike by Nov. 25.