The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF) says it will pause rotating strikes until March 27th.
OSSTF made the announcement Friday, citing a concern for how labour actions have impacted students. However, it will expand its withdrawal of select administrative services starting Monday.
Union members have reduced their engagement in administrative services since November 26th. OSSTF officials say the expanded sanctions will have a minimal impact on the learning environment while continuing to draw attention to the government’s cuts to education and the lack of progress in bargaining.
“Our intent has always been to minimize the impact our labour actions have on students,” said OSSTF President Harvey Bischof. “With so many student events planned around and during March Break, we feel that a pause in our strike actions is appropriate at this time.”
“The Minister’s latest vague proposal to fund class size averages at 23 to 1 will still result in significant challenges for students,” said Bischof. “We already see overcrowded classrooms and disappearing courses—often courses students need in order to graduate. This proposal does nothing to address those serious problems, all of which have come about thanks to the Ford government’s short-sighted policies.”
The provincial government’s recent announcement left many dissatisfied.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario says it will announce a seventh phase of action, to begin March 23rd, if the province does not return to the bargaining table.