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Schools closed for elementary teachers’ one-day strike 12-12-12

Elementary schools were closed Wednesday, Dec. 12 as teachers in Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board staged a one-day strike. About 100 teachers from Prince Edward County participated in the demonstration at Queen Elizabeth Public School in Picton – on two 50-member shifts. They were joined in solidarity by Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation members.

The strike was confirmed in writing last Friday afternoon by the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, Hastings-Prince Edward Local. All elementary schools were closed to students until Thursday, Dec. 13.

Secondary school teachers were not involved in the job action. PECI remained open.

The public teacher unions are in a province-wide dispute with the provincial government about Bill 115, the Putting Student First Act. Elementary teachers in HPEDSB are in a legal strike position as of Dec. 10, 2012. Secondary teachers in HPEDSB were in a legal strike position on Monday, November 12, 2012.

“We thank our parents and guardians for their patience and understanding as we work through this legal strike with our elementary teachers. Hastings and Prince Edward is in a similar position to other public school boards in Ontario where one-day strikes and teacher withdrawal of services are occurring in response to Bill 115, the Putting Students First Act,” stated Rob McGall, Director of Education.

Approximately 640 permanent and 43 occasional teachers are employed by HPEDSB which serves approximately 16,000 students (10,400 elementary and 5,525 secondary) at 42 elementary and eight secondary schools.

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  1. m york says:

    Everyone needs to be willing to give a little but could someone tell Shire Hall that as our CAO is once again off on three weeks holidays starting tomorrow. Merry Christmas Taxpayers…

  2. Marnie says:

    Well said, Mark. The education workers are not an elite group. Time they agreed to a few cutbacks as many of us are doing.

  3. Mark says:

    It is about money! The erosion of rights under the charter is a disguise. The teachers union is acting like the folks in Greece that refuse to face reality. Our province is multi billions in debt and nearing a crisis point. The daily interest alone is staggering. But the teachers union refuse to share in the cost cutting measures required. The taxpayer has been pretty darn good to teachers for many years but there is no more money to give. Perhaps by accepting a wage freeze they could set an example to their students that all is not well in the province and we all need to make do with less. Many workers have had wage freezes or work for very low wages. The teachers union need a dose of reality and realize they need to contribute as well rather than just take. This money doesn’t come from some big hole in the ground it comes from each and every taxpayer.

  4. Marnie says:

    Those poor teachers. Their income is above average, they receive every statuatory holiday on the calendar and a longer summer vacation than most people. Still they complain. Isn’t it amazing how we tolerate being told that we should no longer say Merry Christmas – what happened to OUR rights?? – but accept it and become outraged when the teachers rights and freedoms supposedly are in jeopardy. It’s going to be anything but a merry Christmas for a lot of county families this year. Some have lost their jobs and will have a hard time playing Santa. A friend of mine who is the sole breadwinner in his family lost a days’s pay today because the teachers walked out of their classrooms. Because his wife suddenly became ill and was admitted to hospital there was no one to take care of their children unless he booked off work. Of course, Fed Up, this sort of stress is nothing compared to how the education workers are suffering. Lots of non-union workers have a much tougher row to hoe than the teachers but they seem to go unnoticed sometimes.

  5. SAB says:

    I also do not believe in bill 115 and totally backed the teachers complaints until they decided it was okay for the new teachers (at the bottom of their pay scale) to go for two years without a raise….These new teachers contribute to the classroom the same as all the teachers who have been there for 10 years…..At first
    the Union said that money was not the issue, except for the new teachers, it was their right to negotiate that was the problem. I can’t imagine anyone agreeing to work for 3 days for nothing, as the government has asked or told the teachers they must do.

    That all being said, I think the teachers must also contribute to fixing the economy. I am sure that the people who work in private industries have had to also give up some of their benefits or have their wages frozen.

  6. fed up says:

    You speak from experience, Florida. Not everyone is as well off or as able to be independent as “beach.”

  7. Florida says:

    As an ex-union member and someone that spends time in Florida now, I can see how important my union was to me. It is pretty pathetic to see how many people are taken advantage of down here and merely eek out a living for their families with little hope for any improvement.
    Yes, unions sometime go “over the top” nitpicking with management but without them I hate to think what the average Canadian worker’s life would be like.

  8. Anon says:

    Unfortunately no matter what side of the union debate you’re on, it’s the students that suffer the most.

  9. fed up says:

    Huh? get serious. employers can still hire and fire. Now if you lived in Cuba, everything you said might be true. But those people are grossly underpaid, non unionized, and do not live a lifestyle in any way comparable to ours. Get some facts, not some wild rumours.

  10. beach says:

    HEY, WHY NOT be JUST Thankful for a Job!!!
    Unions were great—- 100 years ago…..
    Now just be grateful!!! and work–or retire!!!!
    Life is great,Really.
    This NOTE is from a 43 year “non stop WORKER” (30 years Military,13 years in the Aerospace Industry. PS: I go SOUTH every Winter and enjoy My Retirement.Don’t bitch,just try it!!!!
    OR WORK for the Union Bosses!!!!

  11. Insert Name says:

    Unions have held back the prosperity of this country for many years. Their time has come, and gone, long ago !
    Imagine as an employer, being stuck with an employee who
    underproduces day in and out, but you must keep this person until they decide to leave or retire ! Private enterprize can not function like this, ever. If hard workers are not rewarded and advanced then why would anyone ever try hard. Failure under unions is obvious and enevitable. It now costs us $ 190.00 to have a unionized employee change a toilet seat for the Toronto School Board !!! That’s 2 nuts folks ! Literally and figuratively !

  12. fed up says:

    Regrettable, but as Canadians we cannot stand by and watch the Charter of Rights and Freedoms be subverted. I applaud the education workers for being so reasonable, under such great stress. If you are in doubt about their motives, read what Bill 115 really says. This is the thin edge of the wedge for unionized labour and therefore, the prosperity of our society as a whole. It is an indisputable fact that this country, and this province, owe a great deal to unions of all kinds.

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