Jan 20, 2020

By Jane Brown

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Parents have been making alternative arrangements for child care Monday, ahead of a one day strike by public elementary teachers in three school boards.

It’s a day off school Monday for public elementary students here in Toronto, along with York Region and Ottawa-Carleton.

Monday marks the beginning of a week of rotating one day strikes by members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario to back contract demands.

Teachers in all four major teachers’ unions in Ontario are engaged in various job actions as their representatives try to negotiate new collective agreements with the governing Progressive Conservatives.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce is making the rounds and indicated there may be an opportunity for talks to resume.

“We are continuing discussing with all the parties about a way forward,” Lecce explained, “We’ve indicated through the mediator for those parties that we stand ready to continue bargaining to get a deal to end what it feels like an every three or four year experience for parents at home that no matter what the premier or government, this type of escalation happens, so we’ve actually continued to make that message impressed upon to the mediator.”

Despite Lecce’s claim that this fight is all about teacher compensation, the various teacher federation presidents say that class sizes and cuts to services are the roadblocks in bargaining.

Public high school teachers are holding a one day strike Tuesday in nine school boards, including Toronto.

Catholic teachers hold their first one day strike across the province Tuesday, which means all Catholic elementary and secondary schools will be closed across the province.

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