Public elementary and secondary school teachers start work-to-rule campaign

Henrietta Brewer
November 28, 2019

Teachers and education workers at public schools in Renfrew County start a work-to-rule campaign today (Nov. 26th).

"I need my daughter at school so I can work, so this is very concerning to me", Brittany Sickles, whose daughter attends Aberdeen, said as she watched teachers gather outside the Grey Street school.

"What we'll be doing is information pickets and the goal of those is not to interrupt school or delay anyone", Glen Hodgson, local president told BayToday.

In addition to their efforts to inform the public, OSSTF/FEESO members will begin a limited withdrawal of services that will affect government or school board initiatives only.

Starting Tuesday, unionized workers will stop EQAO preparation or testing, taking part in unpaid staff meetings outside school hours, or write comments on report cards. The job action shuttered about 5,000 schools and affected more than two million students across the province.

Bischof said high school teachers will picket off school property, before and after school or during lunch, handing out pamphlets to parents and members of the public, but not to students.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said contracts can be achieved if both sides are reasonable, and called the work-to-rule actions "regrettable".

"Bluewater District School Board has developed a strike contingency plan, which will be implemented as needed should there be any further escalation of job action", it said in the letters signed by Director of Education Alana Murray. At the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, information pickets will be held Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

This morning, members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario will meet outside each school entrance and enter the building together 15 minutes before the start of the instructional day. Catholic teachers, whose union accused the government of throwing negotiations "into complete chaos" in a letter published last week in several newspapers, have applied for a conciliator to help in talks.

While the job action generally means teachers won't participate in board activities on PA days, ETFO and OSSTF union members in Hamilton will still attend a November 29 session on bullying prevention and intervention.

"This will not affect student's experience at all. We trust that the provincial government and the union will remain committed to the negotiation process and to reaching a fair settlement", a notice on the ADSB website states. "The government unilaterally imposed cuts that students are already suffering from".

Wells said the big issue still centres on the government's refusal to change its stance on class size.

More than 400 Ontario Secondary School Teachers in Sault Ste.

The Upper Canada District School Board says phase one of the job action will include teachers not doing administrative duties and they won't participate in staff development and training.

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