Teachers at three school boards have become the latest to join wave of one-day walkouts at Ontario elementary schools which began this week and will hit the greater Toronto area Thursday.
Simcoe County, Kawartha Pine Ridge and Upper Grand district school boards will see elementary teachers walk out on Friday.
Teachers and occasional teachers will strike Thursday at the 170 elementary schools of the York Region District School Board, the third largest school district in Ontario.
Also walking out on that day are elementary teachers at Renfrew and Trillium Lakelands school boards.
“We had really hoped it would not come to this,” Trillium Lakelands school board chair Karen Round said in a statement. “This action is a fight between the teacher’s union and the provincial government. I believe our unions know that [the] school board hands are tied at this point in time.”
Monday morning, elementary teachers at Avon Maitland District School Board in the Stratford area and the District School Board Ontario North East in Timmins were the first to take part in the rotating walkouts, with Niagara and Keewatin-Patricia schools walking out Tuesday.
Teachers are angry at the Ontario Liberals for imposing the terms of their contracts – including cuts to sick days and a wage freeze – through legislation. Under that legislation, the government has the power to block a strike, but Education Minister Laurel Broten has said that as long as the walkouts are limited to one day, she won’t exercise those powers.