Dec 11, 2012

By Jane Brown

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More Ontario public elementary teachers will stage one day strikes today.  The 24 hour walkouts began Monday in the Stratford and Timmins areas, and today will take place in Niagara and northwestern Ontario.  The rotating strikes will affect the Greater Toronto Area on Thursday, when elementary teachers in York Region will force schools to close for one day.  Outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty is upset with teachers for staging these strikes,  suggesting it’s about pay.  But union president Sam Hammond says that’s not true.  “We’re not doing this about a wage freeze.  I’ve already said that we would agree to a 2 year wage freeze.  This is about much much more.”  Hammond says teachers are protesting against Bill 115, which he says takes away the collective bargaining process.

PC Education critic Lisa MacLeod says the union should pay parents for the child care they’re scrambling to find for their kids during these one day walkouts.  “People at this time of year are worried about paying their hydro bills, making sure there’s a present under the tree for their child, and if there’s a good family dinner.  $30 to $50 is a lot to a lot of Ontario families, especially those families who are going without this year because Mom or Dad don’t have a job.”

Public high school teachers across the province began a work to rule campaign on Monday, withdrawing from all non-classroom work, including extra curricular activities and events such as holiday concerts.

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