Teachers increase pressure on government
By Jenn Watt
The union representing secondary school teachers says its members at certain school boards, including Trillium Lakelands District School Board, will participate in a second one-day strike on Wednesday, Dec. 11, if a deal cannot be made with the provincial government.
The announcement came on Friday, two days following the first one-day strike of Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation members on Dec. 4, which closed schools across the province including Haliburton Highlands Secondary School and the Haliburton Highlands AAEC.
TLDSB updated its website on Friday announcing that the planned strike will affect teachers at its secondary and adult and alternate education schools and that following the strike on Dec. 11, teachers would be returning to work Dec. 12.
Elementary schools are not affected, although those teachers, represented by a different union, are in the midst of work-to-rule job action.
OSSTF says that its issues include the government’s planned increases to average class sizes, mandatory online credits, and cost-of-living wage increases.
In a statement on Wednesday, Dec. 4, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce said the government was reasonable in negotiations and said OSSTF “have not made any substantial moves since their first proposal was tabled. Even while the government made enhanced offers, there is no indication OSSTF intends to make any moves, except to affirm their insistence on a $1.5 billion increase in pay and benefits.”
Responding to previous statements on the increase, OSSTF has responded on its website: “OSSTF/FEESO is proposing the introduction of Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) into our collective agreements, keeping the real wage increase to zero.”