The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will be taking province-wide strike action as of Monday, May 11, 2015, according to a media release posted to their web site on Tuesday May 5.
The ETFO says they are being forced to take action due to demands from the Ontario government and the Ontario Public School Boards Association that the ETFO can not accept. The media release lists some of them as follows:
- removing class size language from collective agreements, which would give school boards latitude to increase the number of students in elementary classrooms;
- directing how teachers should spend their preparation time, which would interfere with teachers’ ability to plan lessons, prepare specialized plans for students, and engage with parents;
- curtailing teachers’ ability to use their professional judgment in determining how to support student learning; and
- rescinding the fair and transparent hiring practices that school boards are now required to follow under Regulation 274.
It seems unclear as to what specific actions will be taken. ETFO President Sam Hammond is quoted as saying, “We are not going to comment on strike action details publicly until we’ve had an opportunity to communicate with all our members this week. What’s important to realize is that the government and OPSBA want to layer on more bureaucracy into the education system, and compromise the ability of teachers to do what’s best for our students.”
The full media release is available on the ETFO web site:
ETFO to Take Strike Action to Stop OPSBA, Government Demands that Would Compromise Students’ Learning Conditions, Strip Collective Agreements.