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No Cuts to Education Rally to be followed up with one-day walkout Tuesday

Teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) in District 29 Hastings Prince Edward took part in another ‘No Cuts to Education Rally’ at Todd Smith’s constituency office in Rossmore, late Wednesday afternoon.

“We were at MPP Todd Smith’s office today because he is part of the Ford government that continues to hold firm on cuts to public education that will have a devastating effect on student learning conditions and outcomes,” said Scott Marshall, District 29 President.

The OSSTF will hold another rotating strike Tuesday, in Toronto, and several rural areas, including Hastings Prince Edward.

Tuesday, Jan. 21 will be the third strike day for Hastings Prince Edward – the first two in December, one in a blizzard. All seven of the board’s secondary schools (one Grades K-12; four Grades 7-12; two are Grades 9-12) are affected. Elementary students are not affected.

The teachers are protesting government changes that include larger class sizes, mandatory e-learning. They also seek a wage increases matching inflation.

OSSTF President Harvey Bischof stated the walkout would be the last full withdrawal of services until after the students’ exams.

He also noted the federation’s standing offer to postpone job action if the government would agree to maintain class size ratios and staffing levels in place for 2028-19 school year.

With the announcement that elementary teachers will also begin rotating strikes, the Ontario government says it will reimburse parents for childcare costs. The ETFO’s first strike is set for Monday in Toronto, York Region and Ottawa.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Wednesday the government will reimburse parents up to $60 per day for childcare costs if strikes close schools or school-based childcare centres.

The cost is expected to be $48-million a day if all the teachers’ unions walked out at once. The ministry notes the amount paid in teacher salaries across the province works out to about $60 million a day.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario announced it will start its rotating strikes with five days notice to school boards. Monday’s strike includes teachers and education workers in Toronto, York and Ottawa.

Parents are to be eligible if their children are 12 years old or younger and are enrolled in a publicly funded school, or a school based child care centre that will close due to a strike. Also eligible are parents with children up to the age of 21 with special needs.

Compensation includes:
$60 per day for children up to 6 years old who are not yet enrolled in school but attend a school-based child care centre that is required to close on account of a strike.
$40 per day for students in junior or senior kindergarten.
$25 per day for students in Grades 1 to 7.
$40 total per day for students in junior kindergarten to Grade 12 (or aged 21 and under) with special needs.

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  1. Chuck says:

    Teachers and their Union have every right to fight for more compensation and working conditions. However, Education policy is the sole right of the Ministry.The electorate is the watch dog and can make corrections if they see fit.

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