13 February 2020 - Canada: Ontario public school teachers to go on strike on February 21
All Ontario schools to close February 21 in first joint, provincewide strike
Caroline Alphonso and Laura Stone (The Globe and Mail, 12/02/2020)
All publicly funded schools in Ontario will be closed for one day as the four main teacher unions stage the first ever provincewide strike amid stalled contract talks with Doug Ford’s government.
That means about 200,000 teachers and education workers will be off the job on February 21, and thousands of families will be left scrambling to make child-care arrangements.
“It’s always difficult when we make the decision to be out on a line, but what will be even worse is if we allow these cuts [the government is proposing] to go through unchallenged,” Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association told reporters on Wednesday. Ms. Stuart was joined by her counterparts from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) and the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO).
Entire Ontario public school system to be shut down February 21 due to teachers strike
Gabby Rodrigues and Travis Dhanraj (Global News, 12/02/2020)
Ontario’s four largest education unions are planning to strike on Friday, February 21, resulting in a complete shutdown of the province’s public education system, Global News has learned.
The news comes as the leadership of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF), Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) and Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) attended an event on Wednesday in Toronto at which Education Minister Stephen Lecce was speaking.
Outside the speaking event at the Royal York Hotel, hundreds of elementary teachers picketed along sidewalks with protest signs.
Ontario education unions announce one-day walkout that would close all schools on February 21
Jacquie Miller (Ottawa Citizen, 12/02/2020)
The strike would cancel classes for about two million students.
The joint strike by the four education unions engaged in heated contract negotiations was announced Wednesday even as teachers picketed outside the hotel in Toronto where Education Minister Stephen Lecce was delivering a luncheon speech defending his government’s education policies.
It will be the first mass walkout by education workers in Ontario since 1997, when teachers staged an illegal two-week strike to protest the educational policies introduced by the Conservative government of Mike Harris.
Union leaders accused the provincial government of decimating public education. While the issues are different for each of the four education unions, they are united in fighting a government that “wants to slash fundamental supports for all our students,” Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, told reporters.
One-day teacher strike to close every school across Ontario next week
Kristin Rushowy (The Star, 12/02/2020)
Schools across Ontario will be shut down for one day — affecting all of the province’s two million students — as the four big teachers’ unions hold a massive, province-wide strike.
The walkout on February 21 will mark the first time all public, French and Catholic teachers hit the picket lines on the same day in more than two decades, and the first legal one.
The move is meant to up the pressure on the province as contract negotiations have reached an impasse, with the teachers fighting a number of controversial changes the government is proposing and Education Minister Stephen Lecce insisting salary increases are the main sticking point.