Eastern Ontario – Teachers and education workers represented by the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) will participate in a one-day, province-wide full withdrawal of services this Wednesday, December 4th, if a new agreement is not reached before then.
The UCDSB has said if this occurs, there will be no classes, planned activities, co-operative education placements or extracurriculars for students in Grades 9 to 12 on Wednesday, December 4. At this time, all classes will resume as normal for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8.
Community use programs and childcare operations that are run in the schools will not be impacted at this time.
The one-day strike follows six days of information pickets and a limited withdrawal of administrative services that began November 26th. The announcement of the walkout comes on the heels of two more frustrating days at the bargaining table, on November 27th & 28th.
“We began a job action carefully devised to have no impact on students,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. “It’s clear from these past two days of bargaining, however, that our action is having no impact on the tone or substance of negotiations.”
“Through months of bargaining, the management team has avoided any meaningful discussion of class size, staffing, mandatory e-learning, or any other issue that impacts the quality of student learning,” Bischof said. “Even in light of our current job action, far too little has changed at the table. We are left with no choice but to intensify our efforts to defend our education system against a government that has already begun to sabotage it.”
“We do recognize that our one-day walkout will cause short-term disruption in the lives of students and parents, and we are disappointed that we’ve been driven to take this job action. We cannot, however, stand aside and do nothing while the long-term interests of students are being compromised by the Ford government,” concluded Bischof.
The job action they began in November, the information pickets and the limited withdrawal of administrative services, was designed to draw attention to their issues while minimizing disruption to student learning.
The union says that this one-day, full withdrawal of services will cause a short-term disruption for the students, but if they allow this government to continue down the path it is on, students will suffer the negative impacts for years to come.