Elementary schools in Ontario's Niagara and Keewatin-Patricia districts will close Tuesday as part of rotating one-day walkouts across the province, the first of which will start Monday.
The teachers’ unions in Keewatin-Patricia are in a legal strike position as of Monday, while the Niagara teachers’ unions have been in a legal strike position since Dec. 3.
Education Minister Laurel Broten said Thursday she won’t interfere with the one-day walkouts, but the government is prepared to intervene if strike action escalates further.
In a Saturday release from the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Sharon Aloian, president of the Niagara Teacher Local, reiterated that reaching an agreement with the board is still in everyone’s best interests.
“We are taking this action to bring attention to Bill 115’s rigid parameters, and to try and move discussions forward,” she said.
Teachers are angry over legislation – Bill 115 – that dictates the terms of their contracts and restricts their ability to strike. They have promised to give parents 72 hours notice of any action.
About 1,000 teachers at two small boards – the Avon Maitland District School Board in the Stratford area and the District School Board Ontario North East in Timmins – have already given notice and will start their one-day walkouts on Monday.