Teachers’ job actions move to the next level in dispute with the government

ETFO launches work-to-rule campaign; OECTA begins administrative job action

Starting Monday, members of the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario will scale back the amount of extra work done at school.

As part of a work-to-rule campaign, amid tumultuous negotiations with the province, the ETFO will no longer perform certain tasks. These include the planning of or participating in assemblies, field trips, or extracurricular activities. Members will also not arrive at work any earlier than 30 minutes before the start of the instructional day or stay later than 15 minutes after the day is done.

“In six months of contract talks, the Ford government’s education minister has given his negotiators no mandate to discuss anything other than cuts to education including a $150 million cut to public elementary education,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “That’s why there has been negligible progress on substantive issues like supports for Special Education, protecting the Kindergarten model, addressing classroom-based violence and compensation that keeps up with the cost of inflation.”

This affects all elementary schools within the Simcoe County District School Board. Should no agreement be reached by January 17, the ETFO says it will commence a full withdrawal of services in a rotating strike as of January 20.

The Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) has launched an administrative job action.

Among other things, OECTA members will not participate in the preparation and inputting of report card comments, including learning skills. Members will input marks only on the report cards and OECTA members in secondary schools will not prepare progress report cards.

OECTA members will not participate in any EQAO-related activities or attend staff meetings, department meetings, divisional meetings, Ministry or board in-services, or any other such activity.

“We have not taken this decision lightly, but we believe it is necessary to secure a fair contract and protect publicly funded education in Ontario,” says Liz Stuart, President of OECTA. “We have been doing our part to negotiate an agreement, including meeting almost 40 times with the government and school board trustees. However, the Ford government has been disorganized and disrespectful throughout the process, and they continue to insist on an agreement that includes significant cuts.”