All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, February 25th, 2020

Elementary teachers strike dates Feb. 6, 10 and 11

Feb. 5 UPDATE: – Another province-wide strike by public elementary teachers has been announced by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario for Tuesday, Feb. 11.

The Hastings Prince Edward Board of Education advises JK-Grade 8 students should not go to school on the following days:
Thursday, Feb. 6 (all elementary teachers on strike)
Monday, Feb. 10 (HPEDSB teachers on strike)
Tuesday, Feb. 11 (all elementary teachers in Ontario on strike).

Jan. 31 – UPDATE: The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario will escalate rotating strikes across the province this week as mediated discussions between the union and the Ford government which resumed Jan. 29, broke down late Jan. 31.

The next one for Hastings Prince Edward board schools would be Feb. 4 and a province-wide strike of all 83,000 ETFO members is set for Feb. 6.

All students in JK-Grade 8 should not go to school those days. This includes students in Grades 7 and 8 who attend school at a secondary school. These strikes do not affect students in Grades 9-12.

Jan 29 – UPDATE: As looming strike escalation threatens to shut schools twice a week, the government appointed mediator called the two sides back to the table for talks Tuesday – the first negotiations since Dec. 19.

Jan 28 – Prince Edward County elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals took part in their first strike action Tuesday, in front of Prince Edward Collegiate Institute in Picton.

There will be more strike days to come, states their union, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), if central agreements are not reached by the end of January.

One on the action line at Picton stated they were pleased not to be walking in a blizzard; another noted they were bored and would much rather be in their classroom.

ETFO President Sam Hammond stated educators and parents “are not going to accept the government’s deep cuts to public education that only serve to harm the quality of education for generations to come.”

All four education unions are participating in forms of job action.

“From ETFO’s perspective, fair contract talks must include: appropriate funding for Special Education; a strategy to address classroom violence; maintaining our internationally recognized Kindergarten program; fair hiring practices; class sizes that meet the needs of elementary students; and compensation that keeps up with inflation,” he said in a statement.

He challenges the minister to send negotiators back to the table to address the issues. Talks started in August.

If central agreements are not reached by Jan. 31, ETFO states it will escalate its rotating strikes. The next one for Hastings Prince Edward board schools would be Feb. 4 and a province-wide strike of all 83,000 ETFO members is set for Feb. 6. Ontario-wide walkouts may be held once a week if contract talks do not resume.

“Teacher union leaders once again are breaking their promise to parents as they proceed with a full one-day withdrawal of services, province-wide,” stated Stephen Lecce, minister of education. “The consequences of union-led escalation are real, as families are forced to find child care on short notice.”

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  1. Michelle says:

    Unions do not and never should dictate education policy. That is the role of elected government and school boards.

  2. Dennis Fox says:

    Bruce – I’m not going to get involved in a personal argument over this. While not being an NDPer myself, I would rather believe what they say, rather than the Toronto Sun. As far as what I stated about teachers using their own money for promoting their position should be a no brainer – since I doubt highly that the provincial government would give them the money, just where do you imagine the money coming from? It seems that you would rather ignore the other facts – like the government spending tax dollars to promote their agenda, at the expense of the students. That is a fact.

  3. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Dennis. I simply provided a factual statement contained within the Toronto Sun. I did not provide any personal commentary. You have no factual evidence on which you base your statements other than reporting what the Provincial NDP party is spouting.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    Bruce – Let’s assume the numbers from the Toronto Sun are correct (remember the Sun is very pro Conservative) – the thing that you need to remember is that the teachers are using their own limited amount of money, paid for through members union dues, to get their message out. The government wastes millions of tax dollars to mislead the public and accomplishes nothing. As far as the teachers using a third party name is highly doubtful – the teacher unions have no need to hide their identity, it makes no sense for them to do so.

    Either way, this does not excuse the current government from lying to the public and having Lecce hiding behind his lawyer friend. This we know is factual – so what is there reason, if not to mislead the public? BTW – how much did this cost the taxpayers of Ontario for the government to perpetuate this lie?
    As far as I know the teacher unions have never been whiners, as you claim.

  5. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Dennis: Here are excerpts from the Toronto Sun of February 11, 2020.
    “Before 2016, unions spent as much as the parties themselves in order to defeat Ontario’s PCs election after election, hiding behind this Working Families’ skirt.
    Now these same unions are whining about this “mysterious” group that’s taking on the teacher unions?
    In a report in 2016, Chief Electoral Officer Greg Essensa raised concerns about out-of-control third-party spending. He pointed out that since 2006, Working Families had poured $4.6 million into elections — $1 million in 2007 and 2011 and another $2.5 million in 2014.
    In the 2014 election, Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF), Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) and ETFO put $250,000 each toward third-party advertising from Working Families. Now they’re hoist on their own nasty tactics.”

  6. Dennis Fox says:

    Why does negotiations bring the worst out in our Provincial Government? We now hear that the Minister of Ed. – Lecce has been tied into the phony parents group – The Vaughn Working Families. Apparently Lecce’s lawyer and friend was behind these ads and no such group exists!

    Can you imagine what the teachers are experiencing when trying to negotiate with such people?

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