CORNWALL, Ontario – Public secondary school teachers who are members of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) union have begun a one day strike on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019.
“After four consecutive days at the bargaining table, during which the government advanced not one proposal addressing major issues that affect the quality of education in Ontario, teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation began a one day, province-wide walkout at one minute after midnight this morning,” reads a statement from the OSSTF. “OSSTF/FEESO remains committed to the bargaining process and will continue to be prepared to engage in meaningful discussion about the issues that affect our students’ learning environments.”
The public English school board, the UCDSB, have stated that all classes for Grade 9 to 12 students would be cancelled in the event of a strike.
“I am reaffirming my commitment to examining innovative solutions to avoid a strike. I am open to a framework that achieves our goal of reaching a deal that keeps students in the classroom,” wrote Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce in a statement on Wednesday night Dec. 3. “It has been over 200 days since we first started bargaining with OSSTF and in that time, they have not made any substantive moves since their first proposal was tabled. Even while the Government made enhanced offers, there is no indication OSSTF intends to make any moves, except to affirm their insistence on a $1.5 billion increase in pay and benefits.”
The teachers are striking over mandatory electronic lessons, pay, and class sizes.