Strike On: Public High School Teachers And Catholic Support Workers Hold One-Day Job Action

Government and OSSTF point fingers of blame in hours leading up to strike

Public high school teachers and Catholic education workers in Ontario will be walking the picket line today. The Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation warned last week there would be a one-day strike on December 4 if there was not substantive progress in contract talks.

The City of Barrie is offering a day camp today for kids ages 4-12 who are affected by this job action. It’s at East Bayfield Community Centre, in the north end, from 8:30 am to 4:15 pm. The cost is $33.20. Click here to register online.

Hours before the midnight deadline, Education Minster Stephen Lecce urged the union to cancel their planned job action and said the strike by the OSSTF would be “needless escalation.”

Lecce said the union is insisting on a $1.5 billion dollar increase in pay and benefits, and he accused OSSTF of having made no “substantive moves” to reach an agreement since the first day of bargaining.

The union says it is fighting cuts that will impact the quality of education.

With the strike deadline fast approaching, OSSTF President Harvey Bischof said the government had not put forward any meaningful proposals that would avert a strike.

The Ford government has passed legislation to cap pay hikes for all public sector workers at one percent. The union is seeking inflationary increases, which would amount to close to two percent.

The teachers have been without a contract since August.

Local OSSTF teachers’ bargaining unit president Jen Hare will start her morning on the picket line with teachers at Eastview Secondary School in Barrie.

How the one-day strike impacts students in Simcoe Muskoka

  • All public secondary schools and Adult Learning Centres in the Simcoe County District School Board and Trillium Lakelands District School Board are closed.
  • Grade 7 and 8 students at Elmvale District High School and Stayner Collegiate will still report to school
  • Public elementary schools in the  Simcoe County District School Board are OPEN
  • All elementary and secondary schools in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board are closed. This is because at SMCDSB, OSSTF represents: educational assistants, designated childhood educators, office and clerical and maintenance staff.