Education Minister calls on OSSTF to cancel one-day strike

One-day job action set for Wednesday unless there is progress at the bargaining table

Hours before a midnight strike deadline that would see public high school teachers in Ontario hold a one-day strike, Education Minister Stephen Lecce held a news conference late this evening and called on the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation to cancel the walkout.

He calls the possible action “irresponsible and unfair.”

In the statement, Lecce said ” My message to parents on the eve of potential job action, is that our government has remained reasonable at the negotiating table, with the objective of keeping students in class.

I am reaffirming my commitment to examining innovative student solutions to avoid a strike. I am open to a framework that achieves our goal of reaching a deal that keeps students in the classroom. It has been over 200 days since we first started bargaining with OSSTF and in that time, they have not made any substantive move since their first proposal was tabled. Even while the government made enhanced offers, there is no indication OSSTF intends to make any moves, except to affirm their insistence on a $1.5 billion increase in pay and benefits.

The onus is on OSSTF to be reasonable, stay at the table, and to cancel this needless escalation that is hurting children, parents and families.”

The union for public high school teachers says they will not provide an update until after the midnight deadline.